December 29, 2020


By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

As 2020 comes to a close, all most of us can say is good riddance to a year that was completely turned upside down by COVID-19.
While the first few months of 2020 gave every indication that the economy was booming, everything came to an aburpt halt as the coronavirus starting spreading out of China in April and the world began facing a pandemic the likes of what most people had never seen.
As the world’s economy ground to a standstill, the virus spread like a wildfire resulting in millions of deaths, healthcare systems being overrun with stricken patients and governments imposing a litany of safety precautions that restricted the operations of schools and businesses.
The impacts of the virus have been felt by everyone. We all know of someone who contracted COVID-19. While the vast majority of people successfully recovered from the virus, the unfortunate news is that during this pandemic, we all know of someone - whether it was a family member or friend - whose life was cut short.
But it wasn’t just the loss of human life that we all felt as this insidious virus spread throughout the world. We experienced shortages in food and everyday supplies as factories were closed when workers became infected. Across the country and the world, retail businesses, bars and dining establishments were forced to close forever due to a lack of customers. Families and students were forced to learn from home as colleges and school systems saw their doors closed to regular education in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has forever changed all of us.
But we have also learned some important things in the past eight months as we have struggled to find our way through this pandemic.
First, we are far more resilient than we had ever dreamed that we were. We’ve learned how to adjust our lives and still be able to keep our economy working in these troublesome times.
Second, the American healthcare system and all of our doctors and nurses has proven they are the best in the world as they quickly identified the proper treatment of this virus that no doubt saved thousands of lives.
Third, in a record time, pharmaceutical companies have been able to successfully develop vaccines that are now being used worldwide to immunize people against the virus.
All of these things give us hope that while the coronavirus is still going to be a major concern well into 2021, the vaccine provides the ray of hope that sometime in the not too distant future, we can start to resume a normal life again.
And after this past year, it is that day when America and the rest of the world will soon see its way out of this pandemic that is the best that we can all dream for in 2021.