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The Wooden Nickel:  Some Good Things!

The Wooden Nickel: Some Good Things!

December 24, 2020

Let’s all face it:  2020 has been awful!

And not in some “my-team-lost-the-in-the-playoffs” or “I-had-a-flat-tire” way.  This year has been terrible.  Disease, death, protests, election arguments, recession…etc., etc.   Was it the worst year you’ve ever experienced?  Maybe. Especially if you lost a loved one, a job, or a way of life.  Boo 2020!  Good riddance.

Hey, but some good things happened.  Yeah, I was skeptical too.  I had to look them up to convince myself it was true.  How about we remember some of the GOOD things that happened in 2020?  We are changed in big ways and in small, and not all of it bad:

  • Pet shelters literally ran out of pets to adopt. Hopefully this trend will continue!

  • Air quality improved because of millions of fewer miles driven by commuters.


  • Many people spent more time with their immediate family (dinner at home, nature walks,etc.).


  • After trying to home-school our kids, we realized that the vast majority of us are not qualified to be teachers. We now appreciate our teachers more than we did before.


  • Telemedicine is becoming a real thing, with greater access to medical care and knowledge.

  • Lower-paid workers are making progress in terms of conditions and pay. Massive companies like McDonalds are Wal-Mart enacted pay raises, and states from California to Florida enacted minimum wage laws far above Federal levels.


  • Good TV shows are probably at an all-time high.


  • This was our moon-shot moment for vaccines, and science came through for us with wonderous new ones in an unfathomably short amount of time.


  • With the shortage of toilet paper, bidets are the new rage. Our backsides will thank us in the long run!


  • Weddings still happened, albeit in new and creative ways (virtual, smaller, more flexibly). People still fall in love and get married. (Like my son and new daughter-in-law!)


  • Murder hornets haven’t actually murdered anybody.


  • We now wash our hands more and take other precautions because to avoid getting other people sick.


  • People are sewing, exercising, baking, solving jigsaw puzzles and learning to play musical instruments like never before. None of these require video screens!


  • More people voted in the United States than ever before.


  • We may have begun to close the “digital divide” between those who have good internet access and those who do not. Massive programs to get technology to kids in need are finally being funded. 


  • The entire continent of Africa was declared free of polio.


  • Drive-in movies are making a comeback.


  • We are recognizing who real “heroes” are: front-line health-care workers, first-responders, delivery people, and all the other people who have to do their jobs in-person.   The other 70% of us couldn’t ride this thing out if it weren’t for them.


Ok, I know it’s not a huge list and there are plenty of “yeah, but…” things you can say about anything positive here.  Hopefully there are more reasons to be optimistic in 2021-more good vaccine news, less confrontation in public life, government taking a more responsible approach to common problems, a recovering economy for everybody - we can do these things!  We’ve stared into the abyss and now it’s time to take stock and build on the goodwill we have created.

Someday things will get back to “normal”, but what we call “normal” has changed.  Hopefully some of these new good things will stick! 

I’m going to go back to my crossword puzzle.