If you’re like me, you’re racking your brain trying to process everything that has happened last year and already in 2021 but coming up just short on a thesis to describe it all.

If I was writing an essay to describe 2020 while entering 2021, it would look something like this:

Whew! That was a wild, exhausting ride. I’m glad it’s over. Or is it? We began last year in a rather mundane way but soon learned that 2020 was anything but mundane. We were all wishing for mundane as events unfolded.

I mean, thinking back, it was a bit of an unsettling start to the year as we watched Koala bears perish in the brush fires of Australia. This should have been an omen, some sort of sign as to what the year would hold.

If the charred koala bears weren’t enough of a harbinger, what would happen next certainly put us all on alert.

On Jan. 7, the World Health Organization was notified of the novel coronavirus and what we all now lovingly refer to as simply COVID. I remember sitting in a county board work session where it was brought up by public health as a possible concern. At that time, no one knew much about the virus. I’m not sure that any of us still know much about the virus, but at least a vaccine, or herd immunity, are on their way.  

On Jan. 16, the impeachment trial for President Donald Trump began. What comes around might go around in January of this year. Insert eye roll emoji. President Trump was acquitted on Feb. 5 on both articles of impeachment by the Senate. We will see what happens this time.

Also in February, does anyone remember the Super Bowl halftime show? I do. Also insert eye roll.

Then we all thought spring was coming. It had to get better, right? Wrong answer. Gov. Walz and President Trump declared a state of emergency on March 13, and on Mar. 16, Gov. Walz issued a stay-at-home order and closure for all non-essential businesses. Public schools would then close on March 18 and wouldn’t open until the fall of 2020 – only to be closed again by the Governor as COVID-19 cases increased. Schools in neighboring states were allowed to hold in-person classes this fall, and there were less restrictions in other areas such as the food and beverage entertainment industry in neighboring states as well. Elective surgeries in the state were also halted.

While we were all locked down with nothing to do but binge on Netflix series, we were then graced with the “Tiger King” series in March. We were cringing but glued to the screen at the same time as we wondered whether Carole Baskin really did kill her husband. She seemed like such a nice lady.

Also, Tom Hanks and his wife tested positive for COVID-19 and survived, which gave us some hope.

On April 8, the stay-at-home order was extended. It was also extended on April 30. And in that month, COVID-19 became the number one cause of death per day in the U.S., surpassing heart disease and cancer.

Also in April while we were sitting around with nothing to do, the government dropped an extraterrestrial bombshell of sorts and released UFO videos. The Pentagon said they weren’t sure of the source.

Around that time in April, we were also scrambling for toilet paper and some grocery store items. Some of us non-gardeners still may have “survival ramen” in our garages.

In May on Memorial Day, we all witnessed a video of George Floyd being killed at the hands of an officer. This action, and possible angst from the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, resulted in chaos in Minneapolis. We all stood by as buildings were damaged and burned. Neighborhoods were on alert and some even called in posses of their own to help defend them.  

If the pandemic and societal unrest wasn’t enough, in May, we now had to worry that a murder hornet would fly over to the Mille Lacs area from the state of Washington.

And just when we thought we had science all figured out and knew how stars died, a star went missing with the theory it may have collapsed into a black hole instead of exploding as a supernova in the traditional way. But a consolation was the discovery of a new planet, so I guess we broke even. The Minnesota State Fair was also canceled in May.

Also in May, Elon Musk named his son X Æ A-12. Maybe they just call him “Bob” for short.

In June, Gov. Walz extended his executive order again. The order has been extended for 30 days each month and is still in effect.

In July, some of us received mystery seeds from China. The USDA warned us not to plant them.

Also in July, on July 4, to be exact, Kanye West, a famous and infamous rapper, announced his bid for presidency.

On July 20, money talks as the NFL reached an agreement with the players union on a coronavirus testing regimen after dropping all preseason games. Meanwhile, nursing homes sat powerless with no funding for stringent COVID testing as many of their residents perished from the virus.  

Later in July, protests erupted in Portland.

From August to November, a whole bunch of news happened that we’ll never know about because it was overshadowed by the politically-biased cable “news” network’s idea of news. A couple events we did hear about, however, were the rioting in Kenosha, Wis. that led to two shooting deaths in August and the appointment by Pres. Donald Trump of Supreme court Justice Amy Coney Barrett after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

And on November 3, former Vice President Joe Biden was elected President over incumbent President Donald J. Trump.

The insanity certainly couldn’t continue into 2021, we all thought. But it did.

And from General Election Day 2020 until now, claims of voter fraud with the newly implemented mass mail-in ballot campaign pushed by the democrats in response to the pandemic have caused people to question the validity of the election results.

This has caused societal unrest and a recent storming of the U.S. Capitol building last week as Joe Biden was confirmed in Congress as the electoral winner.

Phew. That is a lot.

So if I were to grade myself on this essay, I would maybe give myself a C- for non-academic grammar and poor structure. Pretty below average.

But if we’re all honest, below average is what we would all rate ourselves through the year 2020. Thankfully the bar is set low for 2021.

Traci LeBrun is the editor of the Messenger.

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