I have discussed with those I surround myself with on multiple occasions, and 9/10 our conversations will consist or end with fuck COVID, fuck 2020, and to be fair, I agree. It’s clear that COVID is at the peak of everyone’s frustrations, followed closely by David Seymour. It seemed like every win we had was followed by another job lost, another bush fire, another protest, and well, worst-case scenario, another death. Beyond this editorial and magazine, there are people out there suffering in silence mentally and physically. Sanitiser stations and masks have become our new normal, and being a person of colour has never been so rewarding yet so uncomfortable. Yep, 2020 is fucked, but all of this did not only occur this year. It’s been going on for years before my time. Should we be thanking 2020 for bringing climate change, black lives matter and mental health to the forefront? For witnessing the lowest road toll and improving our health and safety standards? Or do we still blame our global issues on the year of 2020?
If I ever have grandchildren, or even children, I’m going to chew their little ears off about 2020. It’s been a bigger disgrace than that shit BP did to the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 (wankers). I know we’ve all heard it about five hundred times, but we all knew this year was going to go tits up when RnV fucked up the countdown video (let’s bury the hatchet). I wouldn’t at all be surprised if at New Year’s, Jesus Christ or some other fantasy creature came down and said “Round 2!”. It just feels like a cruel game at this point. Given Harry has written a fair bit of what I wanted to say, 2020 probably won’t be the worst year of this decade. If we want to have it differently we need a bit of change around here. Could you imagine the leader of your country letting 200,000 die just because they hold their political views higher than actual science? What has the world really come to? 2020 is probably just a culmination of all the previous years humans have been pieces of shit, we’ve exhausted our bar tab, and the debt collector is halfway through our front door.
Honestly, what were we expecting 2020 to be? Let’s imagine COVID didn’t happen and that 2020 was the year full of freedom and “summer vibes” your drunken mind convinced you it was going to be at midnight in Gisborne. Without the virus, we still have bushfires, rampant inequality, a climate crisis that just doesn’t want to fuck off, and the knowledge that a league of mega-rich pedophiles probably runs the world. Even without the virus, 2020 would have been a 2016-esque year where privileged people had nothing better to do than lie on their bed with a roof over their head and explain to their 400 or so fake, digital friends why “2020 was the worst year ever bro, no cap” on their handheld computer. If anything 2020 is probably just the first in line in what’s going to be a pretty grizzly decade for anything on the planet that draws breath. It’s not like 2021 is going to be a magical off-switch where we just revert back to our normal lives. Time is an illusion, and I think I’ll tell this whole decade to fuck off thanks.
It was a year that started with such promise. First year of an engineering degree out of the way, new gig as Nexus Editor, new job, new scholarship, a budding love story. My birthday was on the 22nd of the 2nd in this foul year of our Lord 2020. Everything seemed to be lining up. But – to take the common paraphrase of the poet Robert Burns, who would be having a field day in these strange times – the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Awry is a polite way to put what has been, by most accounts, an unmitigated catastrophe. Where the year of promise has ended is a white knuckled clutching to the cliff’s edge. The kind of slow motion car wreck one hopes to never witness but we have all been forced to live inside of, eyes clamped shut, screaming into the void. Measuring time in terms of years against a backdrop of chaos unfolding over decades is relatively fruitless, it’s likely our future selves will look back and wish for things to be as sweet as they were this year. When old eyes look back they will see events that shaped the world but when what happened will matter not. So yes, 2020 can go fuck itself.