by Douglas L. Anderson, Psy.D.
2020 can’t end soon enough. What a year of political turmoil, racial injustice, and pandemic agony. Good and bad go hand in hand, of course, and I recognize that 2020 has had some great moments. But this is one of those years where for most of us the bad has seemed to outweigh the good, one where the challenges have been abundant and at times overwhelming for even the most resilient among us.
It is common for us to revisit the year as it winds down. Our papers publish “the year in pictures” and review some of the most important news and sports stories from the past year. Documentaries get filmed and shown. And many of us, without ever actually intending to follow through on them, generate resolutions for the year to come.
These are all good things to do. The year is coming to an end, and we all need a bit of closure, especially this year. I have appreciated some of the bumper stickers inspired by this pandemic. Here are a few I have seen:
2020 Survivor (with a couple of rolls of toilet paper for the zeros)
I am essential
I’m a Nurse. What’s your superpower?
Social Distancing Champion 2020
2020 - The end of the world as we know it
Real Men Wear Masks
One particularly creative bumper sticker added a wintery element and altered the lyrics of a song. It goes like this:
Oh the virus outside is frightful,
But this wine is so delightful.
And since we’ve got no place to go,
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.
That certainly isn’t the best coping mechanism, and if you need some help finding better ways of coping with the stressors of the pandemic and this past year, you might want to give us a call and get the help of one of our therapists. One of our slogans since March has been “maximizing care and minimizing risk.” We continue to safely serve our clients using a confidential video platform. We are committed to protecting your privacy and your physical health until it is again safe to meet in person. And even then, we will continue to offer telehealth psychotherapy to those who desire it. It certainly adds affordability (no driving and less time away from work), accessibility, and confidentiality (no need to sit in a waiting room with others). Research shows that it is as effective as in person therapy as well.
Maybe that is one of the good outcomes of this miserable pandemic - we have found new ways to meet you where you are and offer you hope in a pandemic without putting you at further risk of catching the virus.
But let’s be honest, it is a miserable pandemic that has cost us too many lives and that will impact what life looks like going forward. The bumper sticker is right - 2020 is the year life ended as we know it. We will have much to learn about how life will be lived next year. But that’s next year. For now, I think we are all ready to say goodbye to 2020. We will look at how we want to start 2021 next week.