20 things I learned in 2020

Hello friends and happy new year. We made it, 2020 is over. I know we’ve all had a rough go of it recently. I usually feel excited at the idea of a fresh start but January feels more like a scary continuation than a new year. That said, I’m genuinely hopeful that things can and will get better. 

In keeping with tradition, here are 20 things I learned from 2020.

  1. Every single movie about a pandemic was wildly wrong. People will not do everything in their power to stop the spread. Most won’t even do the bare minimum.
  2. One of the few upsides to being stuck in isolation for a year is that at least I didn’t constantly feel like I was missing out on things.
  3. I can handle a lot more than I give myself credit for.
  4. I cannot respect people who think wearing a mask is so inconvenient it’s worth potentially killing someone else over.
  5. Facetiming with friends while you each do your own separate activities is great and I’d recommend it even after the pandemic.
  6. Even when you think the US government can’t get even crueler, it can.
  7. A lot of people are dangerously selfish, at least now we know who. Don’t forget.
  8. Sometimes it feels like the worst is about to happen, that doesn’t mean it will. And sometimes, it actually will. Your anxiety will make it hard to tell the difference, but you will learn to recognize the signs your brain is lying to you.
  9. You should not be expected to be at your very best in the middle of an out of control pandemic during a corrupt election year. You’re doing enough, even if all you’ve done is not fall apart for the day.
  10. Staying home and sacrificing a year of your life could very well be the reason another person is still alive and that will always be worth it.
  11. If you haven’t lost a loved one to covid, you’re lucky. I am lucky.
  12. Constantly feeling like the world is on fire and in a state of crisis is not normal and we should never accept it as such.
  13. Things aren’t going to just change for the better, we have to fight for it. I knew this already, but man, 2020 really emphasized it.
  14. A lot of disabled people handled the year a little easier than some abled people, but that’s only because we already learned to cope with extreme circumstances and the feeling of being left behind or isolated. That is not a good thing, but still true.
  15. I took all the times I was able to be in the same room as my friends for granted. I miss it.
  16. There are a scary number of people who are blatantly okay with disabled and elderly people dying as long as they can continue to get brunch, go on vacations, and get a haircut.
  17. We could have a lot more scientific breakthroughs and progress if we had a government that prioritized funding for science rather than hoarding wealth for the already absurdly rich.
  18. Life is short and hard. Stop guilt tripping yourself for taking the time to do stuff you think is fun and makes you feel good. Play video games, binge your favorite show again. It’s not a waste of time if you enjoy it.
  19. It’s good to celebrate the small stuff.
  20. We’re not frozen in time, and things won’t be this way forever.

I hope you’re all doing okay, I’ll see you soon.



4 thoughts on “20 things I learned in 2020”

  • Happy New Year to you, too, Karly Joy. I always enjoy reading your posts, and, boy, do you make sense! 2020 was the year from hell, but we did learn some lessons. I feel like you do — January 2021 looks an awful lot like same old same old. Well, we just have to keep going. Great to hear from you.

  • Happy New year to you as well! I think these are all valuable lessons.

    On the 14th thing you learned, though, one thing I’ve heard a lot from others in the disability community is that the reality that others of us are living through during COVID are also realities that some people (including you) have already been living through for quite some time.

    • I’ve heard the same from a lot of people, too. This is definitely a more extreme version than I’m used to, and when I’ve been homebound its been due to accessibility issues rather a public health crisis, but still. Being stuck at home and isolated is definitely not new to me and I don’t feel like I struggled to make any huge adjustment. I hope you have a great 2021, it’s always good to hear from you!

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