It wouldn’t be very controversial to say that 2020 has thus far been kind of a bummer. Our good ole US of A has been the subject of political unrest, wildfires in California, the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, and murder hornets (although we haven’t heard from them in a while…). But perhaps more than any of these things is the elephant in the room that is COVID-19. The virus has taken friends and family away from us and forced people worldwide to seriously change their lifestyle. Schools and many other institutions are shut down, and the simple act of going out with friends presents a potential risk. Mostly we have been made to stay in our homes. Needless to say, it’s not hard to get a bleak outlook on things lately. However, you may not want to wallow in everything just yet, because despite what is sometimes presented, everything is not quite as bleak as it may appear. Take these four good things that have happened in 2020, for example:
Strides Towards a Cure for H.I.V.
While society struggles to come to grips with the coronavirus, we’ve begun to move forward in eradicating a different well-known disease. Early last year a gentleman by the name of “The London Patient” became the second person ever cleared of H.I.V. after receiving a bone-marrow transplant as a treatment for cancer, according to The New York Times. The discoveries made following the procedure have carried into the new year, and as the quarantine months continue, we inch closer and closer to finding a cure for H.I.V.
Air so Clean You’d Think we Were Living in Canada
Those who enjoy being cooped up at home over the past few weeks are few and far between, but the lockdown has brought us one great (if unintended) benefit. Air pollution has dropped dramatically in American cities and worldwide since the lockdowns began, as reported by National Geographic. This is great news, clearly, but made greater by the fact that breathing in polluted air for extended periods of time increases the risk of fatality from COVID-19, according to the same report. The real challenge will be keeping air pollution down after quarantine ends, but it is wise to celebrate present victories.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Dropped and it is FANTASTIC
Just in time for the lockdown, the ultimate chill-out game Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released by Nintendo after a grueling wait. The much-anticipated game has been applauded by most fans of Nintendo. Never has there been a better time to pay back your debts to an anthropomorphic raccoon. Huh. It sounds weird when you say it like that…
Australia Isn’t On Fire Anymore
As of earlier this year, the bushfires that devastated the Australian landscape in 2019 have finally been controlled. Now work can begin on repairing the damaged ecosystem of the Outback. Even more good news came from the country as it appears they handled COVID-19 remarkably well, with significantly lower infection and death rates than Europe.
These are just four of a whole myriad of good things to happen this year. This isn’t to say that all the bad or otherwise troubling things we see in the news aren’t happening, but sometimes it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking everything is far worse than it actually is. As we enter into the next few months of 2020, here are a few suggestions to not get bogged down by everything.
Try to Lay Off the News
Question: Have you ever been having a great day and decide to turn on the news only to be left feeling like the world is in shambles? Sometimes it’s good to take a break from the news. Remember their money comes from viewership, and viewership typically comes from reporting the darker and more controversial side of current events. You can always catch up the next day, so if everything you see in the news has you distraught and angry and you feel like there is nothing you can do, don’t be afraid to take a step back. The same thing goes for social media. Staying home can put many people in a dark place, and hearing only what is wrong with the world can make things far worse.
Make a Plan
Coronavirus has clearly made most people’s plans come to a grinding halt, but we’ve been in the middle of the pandemic long enough to know that there are plenty of ways to be productive in spite of current events! Sometimes it may feel like we’re in a state of limbo, as if life can only start back up again once the virus is a distant memory. This is of course not true, and a great way to forge ahead is to set an agenda. Maybe it’s a workout plan or something to prep for the school year. Whatever improvements you want to make, plan for them and get after it! By this point it’s clear that waiting for everything to get back to normal is just a plain old waste of time, so seize the day!
Focus on Yourself
Not in a narcissistic way, of course. If all the social unrest depicted in the news along with the surge in COVID-19 cases has you feeling powerless, try to take a step back and focus on the things around you specifically. By all means, fight for what you think is right, and do your part to stop the spread of coronavirus, but also try to recognize that all things beyond your control are just that: beyond your control. Be secure in the knowledge that, while the country is in the middle of hard times, you are where you need to be.
One of the worst things about the pandemic is we’re still not sure when it’s going to end. It could be two months, it could be two years. This uncertainty, along with all the other things to happen this year, seem to have made many afraid to hope for a better future. But military kids understand more than most the importance of finding peace during changes in circumstances. Now more than ever we must strive to find that peace, and hold onto the hope that things will get better.