The End of 2020*

John Scalzi

Wait, why the asterisk? Because 2020 is not a normal year, my friends! For me, 2020 began on March 11. That day I was on a cruise, avoiding news, when people started rushing up to me saying “Did you hear about Tom Hanks?!?!?” This was due to me actually knowing Mr. Hanks and therefore everyone on the boat wanting to inform me of his fresh COVID-positive status (and also, I had lunch with him in February, juuuuuuust outside the generally accepted infection window). Then I got back to my cabin and there was an email from my editor, begging me to call him, which was difficult because, you know, boat in the ocean. He told me my book tour was being cancelled and that it was basically the end of the world out there. So I reluctantly checked the news.

He wasn’t right about it being the end of the world. We still had another ten months to go.

Likewise, 2020 won’t end in a few hours. It will end at noon on January 20th, when Donald Trump is no longer president and we don’t have an administration that is staffed with incompetents and/or bigots and/or grifters. Once that crew is punted then the year can actually get underway. So like 2020, there will a brief interregnum before the year can truly get going. Even briefer than 2020’s, which included nearly ten weeks of the year.

For all that, January 1, 2021 will represent the light at the end of the tunnel. We see it coming, it’s inevitable and all that’s left to do now is to get to it. I will take it, appreciate it and celebrate it for what it is. I hope you will, too.

Happy new year*, folks. May it be a far sight better than the one it replaces.

— JS

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