2020 is Hindsight…Many people all over the world regardless of race, religion, culture, or country of origin celebrate in some fashion with a traditional ritual to bolster ourselves for another trip around the Sun. Last year on this day people all over the glove celebrated the ringing in of 2020 with hopes of a better tomorrow. The previous year of 2019 with the mass shooting in El Paso Texas held the record for highest number of deaths from mass shootings ever. The country was still reeling from the massive carnage in the Parkland Florida school in 2018, the church shooting in Sutherland Springs Texas in 2017, and The Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando in 2016.
We became to expect mass shootings and terrorist activity as the norm in our society and although 2020 was consumed with mounting deaths from Covid 19, there were no “large scale” mass shooting incidents. Despite a drop in mass shootings our country still reported a record number of deaths from domestic gun violence in 2020 with many of those deaths being racially motivated. With thousands of deaths still not recorded from the pandemic for the year 2020, it still takes the lead for all time American deaths in any one year, now soaring to over 3 over million Americans lives lost in one year; the highest annual recorded mortality rate in American history.
In 2010 the US population was 309 million persons with a death toll of 2.5 million people, < .8 % of the population.
In 2019 the US population was 329 million persons with a death toll of 2.8 million people, about .8 % of the population.
In 2020 the US population was 331 million with a death toll of 3.2 million people, or about 1% of the population. This is an overall increase in U.S. annual mortality rates by .2 % which is over 500,000 death more a year; more total US deaths in one year then has ever been recorded.
We are now entering 2021 with a boat load of death, grief, anxiety, hope and trepidation. What were your hopes and dreams, bucket lists and resolutions for 2020 that never happened? Over the past year our country has been torn apart by politics and a relentless pandemic. A nation divided by extreme partisan polarity in politics and racial unrest. Many families torn apart and are damaged in numbers that we have not seen since the civil war. We are polarized as a nation at a time when we have never needed more unity.
Not only are deaths mounting from Covid 19 whether from the virus itself or from the deleterious effects of social isolation. We as individuals, as a family, as a nation, as a world tenant are experiencing an unbalanced planet that is wreaking havoc in our lives worldwide. The planet is one massive organism, our atmosphere is one massive organism, humanity is one massive organism. We are now at critical mass of inadequately supporting our planet and life on earth, even the earth is rebelling. We are in peril.
You may remember in the classic movie “The Never-Ending Story” when no one believed in unity, imagination or compassion and the world could not maintain its critical mass and started to dissolve. People are dying across this country from fear, apathy, and ignorance in record numbers. It is not only the virus, but as the old aphorism states: people are giving up the ghost. Losing the will to live at a time when the planet has never been so angry and vociferous with its growing pains. Like many of its people even Mother Earth has had enough.
Let us put 2020 behind us like a bad mushroom trip and embrace 2021 with a proclamation of resilience, faith, love, and comradery. Let us reclaim our lives, our modified society, our beleaguered country, and our exhausted world. When Pandora’s box was opened it unleashed death and pestilence which covered the globe. In the legend there was one only word left in the box after the balance of evil was unleashed on the world. The word was hope.
2020 is hindsight. Full steam ahead with hope for 2021.