Goodbye 2020

(and good riddance)

November 24, 2020 | | Editor’s Desk

Has there ever in recent memory been a year that we will be so collectively happy to boot out the door?

Setting aside the horror show of American politics – from which, like watching a slow motion car crash, many of us have been unable to avert our eyes – the Covid-19 pandemic has dominated every corner of our daily lives, including, literally, the air we breathe.

But as this soul-trying year finally grinds to a close, even amid the despair of a second wave, there are plenty of signs to suggest we can take heart as we look to the future.

As I write, there is positive news that a coronavirus vaccine could be widely available as early as next spring. So that would be good. But more important is the evidence that as much as the pandemic has sown hardship, discontent and death, it may also prove a turning point, a reminder in a divided world of our collective humanity, and the things we value most about life on our common planet.

With some tragic exceptions, here in this corner of the world, we have so far escaped the worst of the pandemic’s ravages. Instead, what we have witnessed is the best of our community – the sheer goodness, decency and generosity that truly underpin our survival as a social species.

In much of this winter issue, we look back on a year filled with uncertainty to record the one thing that remained dependable – our ability to pull together and help each other through trying times.

Our annual salute to Local Heroes focuses on the small army of people who were suddenly thrust into the role of essential workers, or to put it another way, who the rest of us suddenly realized were essential. Our heroes this year also include a nod to the young activists who responded to another of this year’s world-shifting events and organized Black Lives Matter marches in Orangeville and Shelburne. On the same topic elsewhere in the issue, Tralee Pearce hosts a roundtable discussion with members of Shelburne’s antiracism task force who tabled their recommendations in October.

As always our winter issue includes a roundup of new books and music by local authors and, especially poignantly this year, musicians, who are unlikely to enjoy the immediacy of performing for a live audience for some months yet.

So, farewell, 2020. You battered us, but we’re not beaten.

About the Author More by Signe Ball

Signe Ball is publisher/editor of In The Hills.

Related Stories

Local Heroes 2020

Nov 24, 2020 | Tralee Pearce | Local Heroes

A focus on essentials: Profiles of the folks who kept us all going in 2020.

Hailey McLarty and Shyanne Wharton-Haines Ricci (left) organized the June 14 Shelburne Black Lives Matter march. Sisters Seanna (left) and Makenna Thomas (right), were behind the Orangeville march the same day and walked with little sister Emma. Photo by Pete Paterson.

The New Hope: Local Black Lives Matter Organizers

Nov 24, 2020 | Janice Quirt | Local Heroes

These four young women (plus one younger sister) were the moving force behind two crucial local social justice marches – one in Orangeville and one in Shelburne.

Task force members (left to right) Alethia O’Hara-Stephenson, Soha Soliman, Geer Harvey and Althea Casamento. Photo by Rosemary Hasner / Black Dog Creative Arts.

Up to the Task

Nov 24, 2020 | Tralee Pearce | Community

Four members of Shelburne’s Anti-Black Racism, Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force discuss their mission and the vision they have for Shelburne.

The Year in Books: 2020

Nov 24, 2020 | Tracey Fockler | Arts

Our annual review of new books by local authors and illustrators.

The Year in Music: 2020

Nov 24, 2020 | Scott Bruyea | Arts

Our annual review of new recordings by local musicians.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment you agree that IN THE HILLS magazine has the legal right to publish, edit or delete all comments for use both online or in print. You also agree that you bear sole legal responsibility for your comments, and that you will hold IN THE HILLS harmless from the legal consequences of your comment, including libel, copyright infringement and any other legal claims. Any comments posted on this site are NOT the opinion of IN THE HILLS magazine. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please report inappropriate comments to vjones@inthehills.ca.