To say the least, 2020 has been a tumultuous and challenging year. Normality was turned on its head as our country suffered through the pandemic and political strife and reeled from shutdowns, stay at home orders and school closures. Our day-to-day lives were altered in profound ways by the necessity for social distancing and mask wearing, while Zoom calls, virtual classes and curbside grocery pickup became part of the “new norm” for many of us.
On a darker note, some of us lost family members and close friends to the hideous COVID-19 virus. Others found themselves suddenly out of work and scrambling to apply for unemployment benefits.
All the while, we sat back…waiting, wondering, “when will this madness end?”
With all the chaos and tragedy that 2020 threw at us, I believe we’re overdue for a rebound in 2021.
You may ask, “What does a rebound look like for the New Year?” For one, I think the economy will bounce back in a big way once COVID-19 is curbed and the country is able to fully reopen for good.
Just think about the impact; people will flock to restaurants, coffee shops, theme parks, theaters, gyms, concert venues and stadiums. Many businesses that were shut down or limited during the pandemic will likely see a resurgence of customers and, hopefully, recoup most of the losses they sustained in 2020. I imagine that travel and tourism will also boom once restrictions are lifted nationwide and worldwide.
That might all sound like wishful thinking. Maybe so. But we’ve been cooped up and restrained for so long by the virus that when it’s finally vanquished, we’ll be more than eager to get out and enjoy the things that we haven’t been able to do. It’s just human nature. More consumer traffic means more jobs and better financial security for employees and small business owners alike, particularly those who have been struggling to make ends meet.
While we await an economic recovery, I also see a societal rebound on the horizon in a post-pandemic world. That is, families being able to safely gather for reunions, grandkids visiting grandparents again, students going back to class full-time (etc.) For our society to fully heal and recover from the trials of 2020, we need to be able to spend quality face-to-face time with family, friends and colleagues in 2021—uninhibited by fears of possibly catching or spreading a dangerous virus to others.
The road to recovery won’t be an easy one for our nation, and a rebound won’t happen right away in 2021. For now, all we can do is follow safety guidelines and wait for the vaccines to arrive. But if we can stay the course and ride out this storm, I believe a better tomorrow will greet us on the other side.
Ben Gagnon is a reporter with View Newspaper Group. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org