21 Comments

  1. This year arrived with promises that it would be a good year, as all turn-of-the-decade years do.

    Unfortunately, this year came with some personal tragedies, in addition to other things we are too well aware of.

    This cartoon may not be an instance of “funny-ha-ha,” but more of “I-can-relate.”

    (Hopefully, this cartoon will be lost on people born after this year.)

  2. J-L, I hope this cartoon WON’T be lost on people born after this year. I’d like people in the future to know 2020 as a year that absolutely s*cked, because no year like it had occurred in their lifetimes.

  3. Well, I remember many an American saying it was the worst year ever… in 2016: so, let’s not judge 2020 too hastily.

  4. B.A., you make a good point, but I’m referring to how, when I’m reading old comics, I’ll run across something odd that only makes sense in the context of the times. And while I know about (most) significant American events that happened before I was born, I won’t always be too keen what year it happened.

    For example, while I once interviewed a person who remembered the bombing of Peal Harbor for a high school history assignment, I don’t always recall what year it happened. I know that this ignorance of mine might offend people who lived through it (“How could you ever forget such a date?!?”), but since I didn’t live through it myself, memorizing the year it happened is much the same as memorizing other facts I didn’t live through, and I’m somewhat error-prone when it comes to recalling dates that occurred before I was born.

    After all, I couldn’t remember the year of the Spanish Flu pandemic (1917) until just recently, when I kept reading about it online. (And just having looked it up right now on Wikipedia, apparently it’s not 1917 — it’s 1918 — so either the news sites were wrong, I have a fallible memory, or it’s not exactly clear just when the pandemic started.)

    So I won’t be offended if people born after 2020 can’t recall the exact year of the Coronavirus pandemic (even though the name “COVID-19” is a huge clue), or how it impacted society and the global economy.

  5. J-L, I think 2020 will be easier to remember than most years, simply because “2020” is memorable.

    And a confession: A week ago, I couldn’t have told you which year the Spanish Flu pandemic began either. But I just started reading a book about 1918…

  6. 2020 might be easier to remember than most years, but we’re still not at all sure what year(s) the history books will report for this Coronavirus. They may stress 2019 (the year it was identified), or they may stress the year it was worst (2020… or perhaps some year in the future?). Or it may be known by its decade (the virus of the 2020s) or by several decades (the virus of the 2010s and 2020s — and hopefully not of the 2030s).

    Today, there’s no way to know for sure which year will be known as “The year of the Coronavirus” in fifteen years’ time. For all we know, the history books of the future could use 2019 (or perhaps 2023) as that year (and that’s assuming it will be identified with one single year).

    So it sounds strange to us now, but there’s no guarantee that, in twenty or thirty years, a teenager or young adult will be able to readily associate 2020 as “The Year of the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

  7. 1968 wasn’t a good year, either. Wars, assassinations, and a deadly flu outbreak for starters.

  8. J-L: All those things are possible. But I suspect that 20 years from now, anyone reasonably conversant with history would look at this comic and be able to figure out why people in 2020 thought that 2020 was a particularly bad year.

    Who knows what perspective will bring?[*] It’s possible that they’ll chuckle and say “Gosh, remember when we thought 2020 was bad? It seems so silly, in retrospect, given the Great Disaster of 2023.”

    [*] I was recently trying to explain to my kids that when I was a kid, the idea of getting photos developed in one hour was an amazingly fast, not amazingly slow.

  9. Winter, I think more amazing than the photos is the fact that if we wanted driving directions to someplace out of state, we either had to get our hands on several different maps (buying them if we needed details), or write to AAA at least three weeks ahead and wait for an envelope containing maps with your route highlighted.

    Now, of course, your phone gives you directions verbally in real time, making adjustments in your route if there’s traffic.

  10. We’ll remember 2020. This will be in the history books for later generations, and some will grow up with the stories we have lived at the start of the 21st century—like I did with my grandparents, who lived through: WWI, Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, WWII and even the Watts riots.

  11. “Now, of course, your phone gives you directions verbally in real time, making adjustments in your route if there’s traffic.”

    I didn’t know “my” phone did that, since it’s a land line. I rarely travel more than a few miles from home these days, but even that distance would really have to streeeeetttttcccccchhh the line, and I’d think it would snap. Also, I’ve never heard it verbalzing to me; maybe it’s just disgusted with my boring life and thus giving me the silent treatment.

  12. CiduBill: Sure, one hour photos aren’t the most amazing invention of the last 50 years. It’s just a recent example where the perspectives were really off: my kids were like “you had to wait a whole hour to see the photos?” and I had to explain that at the time, an hour was fast, not slow.

    Then I had to explain that that was an hour from finishing the roll of film, but it could actually be weeks or months from taking the picture. Then I had to explain the concept of buying a roll of film, and needing to finish the roll before taking it somewhere to be developed, because film was expensive.

  13. Shrug: My flip phone never talks to me either.

    Just like in the past, I sometimes need to ask strangers for directions. Now I usually feel the need to preface it by claiming that I forgot to charge my phone, to skip over the otherwise inevitable first phase of the conversation about getting the directions from my phone.

  14. Back in early March, I was clearing out some totes that had been shipped here from our [former] WI home and found a purse with a roll of undeveloped film in it. Took it to Walgreen’s and found that yes, they do still do developing, albeit not in-house. A few days later, all h*ll broke loose and I still haven’t gone back to pick up the photos. I’m REALLY curious to see what was on that roll, as we both have had digital cameras for ages (the last date in my photo album collection is 9 June 2007).

  15. My iPad isn’t a phone, so it requires wifi for connectivity. Generally if I’m going somewhere new, I get map and directions on the desktop, save as PDF, then transfer to the pad.

  16. We were hoping that 2020 would be the turnaround year to good things.

    Starting in October 2018 we had started having weird things – none of them good – happen to us. Things had to be redone over and over. We ran to the hospital as we thought Robert might be having a heart attack (and if either of us goes to the hospital – it is a serious thing) luckily he was not – which was a good thing, but he was in pain for about 3 months until his shoulder mostly healed.

    We spent a good part of 2019 schlepping my now 91yo mom to doctors all year including the doctor with the office from h*ll – we waited an hour to get in, appointment with wrong doctor – I screamed (I am good at screaming) and they could fit mom in to see right doctor in afternoon – spent 3 hours with mom pushing her wheelchair around a Barnes and Nobles and then went back and waited another 4 hours to see the doctor who did not do the test we were therefore and she did not have that “need to have this test away” for another 3 months. She is has missed 4 appointments with 3 doctors (two of them with same dr 3 months apart) since all of this started and we were suppose to move on to another doctor and an audiologist after those appointments – the latter so I don’t have to yell a repeat of everything the doctors say to her – think the elderly aunt in “Christmas Vacation” (I am always afraid I will yell by mistake “the blessing, they want you to say the blessing” by mistake.) She has been on lock down in her assisted living residence since March – they locked down before mandated to do so and we have been lucky that they have managed care during the pandemic very well.

    We spent somewhere over US$10,000 on car repairs in 2019 on our 3 vehicles – at one point none of the three were completely working and we had to take mom to a doctor and had to hope that our car kept working (transmission problems) as it is the only one of the three she can get into. Part of this involved RV battery problems – we had one 3 day trip last summer to PA and any other traveling we did in it was to have repairs made for same – the place we took it -in NJ – and paid turned out to be a rip off – and ended up taking it back to the dealer in PA and leaving it with them for over a month for them to deal with it – and of course to leave it there for a month meant driving one of the others there so we could get home and this was when none were actually fully working and we had to drive our 25+ year old van to PA so that the car would make it to take mom to the doctor. Van needed a new water pump the following week.

    Now as all in our two families stay well – we will consider it a good year.

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