Image hands reaching for one another over image of Earth.

A Lookback on the First Part of 2020

By Jess Bazaldua
Web Content Contributor

We rang in the new year with such high expectations, and everything went downhill from there.

From the prevalence of COVID-19 to disasters of apocalyptic proportions, events between January and July 2020 appeared to stem from the Book of Revelations. Has this year already been the worst for Millennials and Generation Z, or has a new perspective shifted the qualifications for something terrible?

While we saw the beginnings of COVID-19 late last year, the virus gained traction in January before making its way to the United States. The spread of COVID-19 moved through states, cities, and counties, arriving in our college town. 

Guidelines for distancing and lockdowns surfaced, but even the shortest amount of relaxed measures led to the biggest consequences. Lives that should’ve had more time and lives that had barely begun were lost. Friends and family members knew someone who caught the virus or were at risk for it themselves. Workers put their own health on the line because they were deemed “essential,” while others looked for their familiar vices of crowded bars and hair salons.

Enough was enough for those following the Black Lives Matter movement. Protesters took to the streets to fight for their own “essentials.” Their cries rang across the globe to gather supporters of their cause. The unlawful killings of Black people, Indigenous communities destroyed and exploited, gay and transgender hate crimes, the silencing of rape and murder in the military, and iniquitous detainment of undocumented immigrants at our border. 

These did not start in 2020, nor will they end anytime soon, but our hope, our passion, and our children have heard the call to action. Humans of today will lead the way, and the generations of tomorrow will continue to seek justice. 

The stifling summer wasn’t spent inside a chilled movie theatre or dark arcade; however, it wasn’t spent at the pool or along the river, either. San Marcos’ enjoyable Summer in the Park series was cancelled this year, as was Movies in the Park. Sunbathing at Sewell or throwing a frisbee around while others had picnics and played volleyball was nonexistent. 

Unbearable heat could still be treated with the occasional ice cream or snow cone, but the “normal” summer seemed to fly over us as we sat and watched it go.

As the leaves pile on the ground and the social distancing signs slowly start to fade, a new normal sets in with uncertainty. Wildlife returns happily to forgotten areas, grade-school teachers prepare for virtual learning, and Texas State brings in the class of 2024 to a different freshman experience. 

Everyone is tired, annoyed, and scared beyond belief. Numbers may rise, but complacency should not be the standard. We will overcome this, and anything else that comes our way. As long as we empathize with one another, we can make our world a better place.

Featured image by Jess Bazaldua.

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