Yah 2020 was bad…

but man am I grateful it was 2020.  Let me explain.

So many people are talking about how bad 2020 was, and for good reason.  All of us in some way or another and in varying degrees of magnitude have been impacted negatively from the lockdowns, the political turmoil, and of course, Covid-19 this year.  My heart aches for those who have lost loved ones or been impacted with emotional or financial setbacks the depths of which I can only hope to begin to understand.  Grief, anxiety and despair are agonizing. Negative impacts of 2020 were devastating to many and that can never be understated.

Being in the IT field, and able to work from my home office, you could rightly say that I’m one of the lucky ones. And you would be more right then you know. My wife does have a day job. She works at an office, so our exposure is not zero, but she is working from home more often than not as of late. That said, from where I stand I have a lot to be grateful for.

The new year has me thinking about my sense of immense gratitude for so many of the GOOD things that could be taken for granted and how this year more than any other, points out that as each year passes, the next has been inextricably better than the one before it. Our technology and human progress makes 2020 a better year than any other to have faced the grueling challenges so many have endured under substantial pressures. 

Think of it this way….

In 2013… we didn’t have Uber eats or app based delivery, so outside of major metro areas like new york, you couldn’t get anything other than maybe the one or two kinds of pizza delivered to most homes in the US. Now I pick any restaurant I want and a friendly driver goes and gets it for me.

In 2010… we would not have had the capacity or the confidence in mRNA to have even attempted to develop a cure in a single year.  This alone could make 2020 the most amazing year in all of human history.

In the last 30 years we built the internet, in the last 50 years we learned to map DNA, even the advent of medical devices like ventilator tech was within the last 70 years. Advances that contributed in obvious ways in 2020.

All our technology speeds up the decline of Global Poverty, Global Illiteracy, Undernourishment, and Child Mortality. All of which had their largest decline only in the last decade.  As a species we live longer, in increased wealth,  more comfortably then any of the previous generations. And I for one am very grateful for that.

(Unesco Institute for Statistics, 2017,FS/2017/LIT/45)

(Desjardins, 2018) (Bailey, 2019)

2020, she was a really bad year.. but man if it were any other year, things could have been much worse.


Author:John Oesterle

December 31, 2020

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