As Americans experience the first day of 2021 today, most of us will not engage in the traditional practice of setting resolutions for this new year. Instead, we will substitute hopes for resolutions.

The single thing the COVID-19 pandemic taught every human being on Earth is that we do not and cannot control everything that happens in our lives. We control only our individual responses to what happens. If we truly were masters of our fate, the pandemic would have lasted a couple of weeks, not nine months to date.

We also learned that facing and overcoming adversity requires group effort and that the burdens of dealing with it are not spread equally among people.

Resolutions seem silly after such a year. Losing weight, exercising, reading more—it seems trivial in the middle of a pandemic in which people are still dying every day. So, laying out hopes instead of resolutions for seems more apropos.

Our hopes are:

  • To get the coronavirus vaccine off the shelves of pharmaceutical companies and into the arms of Americans faster by combining federal and state efforts and getting rid of the “not-my-job” politics that prevailed in 2020.
  • To reinvigorate life without the fear, frustration, anger and total uncertainty that permeated the pandemic year.
  • To be able to hug our elderly without fearing that it could be a deadly embrace.
  • To get kids off the screens on the dining room table and back into classrooms with their fellow students and teachers.
  • To reach a time when people again can gather safely for parades, parties and picnics to rightfully honor the humble heroes who emerged during the pandemic to help the rest of us fight the onslaught of COVID-19.
  • For a return to sanity in the federal government with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, whose job it will be to try to heal the wounds of brutal political partisanship through good governance and to repair the wreckage left behind by the previous occupant of the oval office.
  • To see the return of live concerts, plays and lectures and the reopening of performance venues.
  • To see a full-length movie on the big screen in a movie theater again where no one thinks about doing laundry or clearing dirty dishes while the plot is unfolding and where no one can hit the pause button in the middle of the best part.
  • To safely be able to return to restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses with less fear of contracting a deadly or disabling virus.
  • To find ways to talk about issues that may divide us without rancor and with the use of facts.
  • To find a way to stamp out corrosive misinformation on social media without incinerating the constitutional right to free speech.
  • To again open city halls, county courthouses and state capitols to the public and to bring elected public officials out from behind the digital screens of video conferencing apps and get them handshaking in sunshine again.
  • To enshrine the pandemic in the public memory and to support public agencies and new processes in government, public health and politics that could prevent a repeat of the nightmare of 2020.

Happier New Year, everyone!


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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