It began before the year even started. In late 2019 a new strain of Coronavirus was brought to the world’s attention. None could have imagined that 2020 would be the year of the virus. As the year began, I can now say looking back, that there was an eerie mood overshadowing us. One of the world’s most iconic figures of our generation tragically died on January 26 in a helicopter accident. Kobe Bryant. Not long after, the first Covid death occurred roughly on Feb. 6th, but may have been prior to that. The world was occupied with other things. Everything from the normal politics of the country, and who our next President was going to be, to the social unrest over the police brutality mounting across the U.S. 2020 was the year of the virus. We had been given prior warning but many were completely unaware for the most part. Bill Gates had been warning the world since 2015 that something of this magnitude would happen…and it did. The fire started with a spark, and before we knew it the country was engulfed in a hellish flame of infection. The government was downplaying the seriousness of what was occurring by telling the world we had nothing to worry about. Politicians scrambled to provide assurance to the nation while the President tried to convince the public that this virus was nothing more than an over exaggerated flu bug that would simply disappear. That did not happen. In fact, what we were witnessing was a hostile takeover. We were simply not ready for 2020. Initially, the first surges of the virus were said to only affect older people or people with underlying conditions. America’s convalescent homes were ravished and our elderly were bombarded by death and sickness. By the middle of March most of the nation had seen the devastation that this virus was capable of unleashing so we shut down. Most of us were still indirectly affected. When I say indirectly, I mean the people who are young and healthy. For many of us who were skeptical of the whole suddenness of the pandemic, we really weren’t affected at first. The nation was at war with itself over the senseless killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. With civil unrest raging like an inferno most of the attention the virus demanded was being swayed. In April Covid 19 was killing hundreds of people, but still not everyone’s main focus. This virus was waiting. The summer was just a glimpse of what was to come. By the beginning of May we had reached a death toll of 2,769 people in one day lost to Covid 19. Things were getting worst now. The rate of infection was skyrocketing .The government was blaming any gathering of groups more than 10. In states all around the country people gathered by the hundreds to march for civil rights almost ignoring restrictions that this virus had established. Again I will say, this virus may have never had our full attention. What arose was the debate over individual rights and who would enforce certain
mandates regarding mask wearing, or what politician would get more votes while holding what scientists now call super spreader events also known as rally’s. As the seasons became cooler we had all been made aware that things would get worst. The deaths began to slow, however that was just an illusion. By the time we reached November the number of newly infected people had risen to 93,739 cases per day. We started seeing more and more young people become ill. Children were being diagnosed at a higher rate than before. The infected were dying younger and younger. Michael Lang, an 18 year old from La Grange, Illinois, died within just a few months of contacting Covid 19. Yasmin Pena, an 18 year old from Connecticut also died due to Covid complications. The list of names is endless. The virus now does not discriminate. It went from honing in on the elder and sick, to attacking anything unwilling to wear a mask. Even as every precaution is taken this virus has ran rampant throughout the year 2020. Now, as we inch towards the new year this virus has ravaged the world . The last days of 2020 have been the worst of the pandemic. We didn’t think it could get worst, now more than 19 million American’s have been diagnosed with Covid and the number may be more than 3 times higher than estimations. 330k people have succumbed to this virus. The year of the virus is coming to an end and thanks to several different vaccines that may soon be available to the public the hopes of leaving this virus behind are at least within reach. As 2021 fast approaches I can only hope that the year to come provides us with a bit of peace and maybe the certainty of knowing that although it was the most turbulent year of a lot of our lives, we got through it. Of the many lost, let’s never forget our friends, family or individuals who lost this battle to one of the most devastating viruses this world has seen.
- Written by Tyshawn Smith Sr.