In My Opinion: There will be better times to come in 2021, but it is going to be a tough January

The Noodle Feed installation was a little too popular in February of 2020. Beach Metro News editor Alan Shackleton says this is one of his favourite photos of 2020 as it was taken shortly before the full impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt, and people could gather together in large crowds. The photo was taken by Donna Braybrook.

By ALAN SHACKLEON

It’s the first day of 2021. The year 2020 is over. I believe I’ve been waiting since the middle of March to say that.

I cannot think of a year I have been happier to put in the history books than the one just ended.

This column is not going to be a laundry list of everything that was rotten in 2020. Not enough space for one thing, and you know the answer already.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started to dominate our lives we have all seen examples of both the best and the worst of what people can be.

From my seat here as editor of Beach Metro News, I’ve been fortunate enough to see there was more good than bad.

There are numerous local examples of people stepping up to help each other during the extraordinary challenges we’ve had to face for most of the past year.

That’s heartening and makes me feel better about all the bad stuff going on. And there has been a lot of bad stuff.

When the final accounting is done on this pandemic, there are some politicians who should be finished beyond any chance of ever being considered for any future form of public service (or public compensation) again. There are also some business operators who should be in jail and up to their eyes in lawsuits. Will that happen? Doubtful, but I can hope.

While we’re all wishing we can put the bad times behind us with the flip of a calendar page, that’s not going to be the case. I’m sorry to say the dark days we are going through are still a long way from over.

It would be nice if we could fast forward our way through this January because I fear it is going to be one of the worst months so far of this pandemic.

We need to be strong right now because there is light at the end of tunnel, and it is indeed not the headlight of the train about to hit us.

Things will get better as this year goes along.

There is a vaccine and it is being administered. Yes, it’s going to take most of this new year just upon us to get the majority of people vaccinated but I feel we are moving in the right direction.

By the time artists start putting up their installations for the 2021 Winter Stations exhibit along Woodbine Beach on Family Day weekend, I think we’re all going to be feeling a lot better about our present situation and the future. We just need to hunker down and get to that point.

One of my favourite Beach Metro News photos of 2020 was by freelancer Donna Braybrook of kids swarming over the Winter Stations art installation called Noodle Feed last Family Day.

Less than a month after that photo was taken, the reality of the pandemic had hit us square in the face. There would be no crowds of people gathered around art exhibits, playgrounds, picnic tables or anything else for months. Or at least there weren’t supposed to be.

In addition, the very art exhibit that created such joy with the kids had to be removed by Winter Stations as it had broken apart due to excessive and enthusiastic use. The interactive Noodle Feed was basically “loved to death” and suffered irreparable damage.

The Winter Stations exhibits for this year will not be interactive as we deal with pandemic restrictions and continue to do so for pretty much all of 2021. Still, it’s something to look forward to in the near future, and we need that right now as we enter this very challenging January.

Something else to look forward to this year is that starting with our first edition in March, Beach Metro News begins its 50th year of serving the community.

That has me and everyone else here at the paper excited. Look for more details on some of the ways we’ll be recognizing this milestone in editions to come. Our very first edition was in March of 1972. The paper was then known as Ward 9 Community News (the name was changed to Beach Metro Community News in 1988).

I can guarantee no one wants to see another year like 2020. But be assured that whatever is to come in 2021, we here at Beach Metro News will be here for you and we will have your back; just like we’ve been doing for the past five decades.

Happy New Year everyone!


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