Excuse me, officer, but can you give me directions for the quickest route to 2021? I’m so done with 2020, I thought maybe I could pull out a few days early. Get a little time off for good behavior?
I’ve spent most of my life breaking New Year’s resolutions, but this is the first time a year broke them all for me. I didn’t even have to lie to myself sitting on the couch.
But it’s come at a high cost. How am I supposed to celebrate New Year’s Eve when I just left my elderly parents, ages 93 and 94, alone for Christmas because I didn’t want to take the chance of bringing COVID-19 into their mobile home.
They were disappointed, but they understood, or said they did. I’m not so sure. At their age, we’re running out of Christmases together.
I see what this pandemic has done to families who thought it wouldn’t touch them. It’s heart breaking, but I wonder didn’t they realize they were playing Russian roulette with their loved ones?
It’s not like COVID-19 just started. It’s been around most of the year. What more proof do they need it’s real? There’s a growing list of fatalities for everyone to see — if they care to take a look, which too many people don’t want to.
A close friend of mine went to the market to pick up some food for the week, and next door there was a restaurant flaunting the shutdown order — serving beers and burritos outdoors to 30 people sitting at tables on the sidewalk. Another 30 people without masks were lined up waiting their turn.
The restaurant was doing a booming business while another one across the street was dark, closed by its owner abiding by the shut down order. He gets the chance to go broke for doing the right thing.
As my friend walked by the open restaurant back to his car, he could hear what some of the people eating and drinking were saying to shoppers walking by wearing masks.
“Sheep,” they were calling them. “Take your mask off.” Trying to shame them when they were the people who should be ashamed.
He got home and called law enforcement to see why the restaurant was still open and to report the taunting. Why weren’t there any deputies out there keeping the peace, he asked?
It was a free speech issue, he was told. Their hands were tied. Really?
This isn’t about free speech. It’s about something much more insidious going on today — a problem comedian Ron White wraps up in a few, choice words that hit the bull’s eye — “You can’t fix stupid.”
We got a monumental case of it on both sides of the political spectrum today. We’re about to say good riddance to 2020 and head into 2021 with a new president in the White House and a country as divided as it’s ever been.
Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican — far left or far right – you can agree on one thing, at least. Joe Biden’s got a hell of a job in front of him and no guarantees he’ll be allowed to do it.
So, what’s the country’s New Year’s Resolution going to be? Will we find some common ground and let Joe try, or does the hatred run so deep that we’ll dig in our heels even more and get nothing done?
Happy New Year trying to figure that one out.
Dennis McCarthy’s column runs on Sunday. He can be reached at [email protected]