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We entered 2020 with fears about World War III. And that was the high-water mark.
Rewind your memories to the distant era of January when President Donald Trump killed Qasem Soleimani, the mastermind behind Iran’s deadly Quds Force. Many worried it would start a global conflagration resulting in even more deaths than the GOP tax cuts or the repeal of net neutrality.
How naive we were. Within weeks, we had a new set of crises. The US House of Representatives impeached Trump and the Senate saved his orange skin.
But democracy was still in crisis. The glacial vote-counting in the Iowa Caucuses outraged the nation. After days spent dithering, two candidates claimed victory, neither of whom was named Joe.
All of these stories were huge headlines a few months back but today seem like relics from a lost age.
A story that was a side note in January and February finally took main stage. A deadly little virus emerged from the other side of the world. By mid-March, every pro sport was shuttered, projections warned of millions dead and, inexplicably, we ran out of toilet paper.
After varying degrees of lockdowns and countless job losses, we started to get a handle on it.
Until we didn’t.
But the news had shifted to the hideous killing of George Floyd and the weeks of protests reacting to it.
Several malcontents used the peaceful protests as a cover to loot Apple stores (what’s up, Jake Paul?) and topple statues of Spanish authors and Black abolitionists. This was more inexplicable than the toilet paper shortage.
Today, the news is back to COVID-19 with the post-protest, post-lockdown spike, and the cameras moved on from that weird autonomous zone in Seattle. Oh yeah, there were murder hornets too.
Maybe now things will get back to normal. Or at least a new normal.
Dear reader, I have terrible news for you: 2020 will get even worse.
The novel coronavirus isn’t going away, nor are the protests or celebrity cancellations, and perhaps even the murder hornets will buzz back to life. But this is an election year and the campaigns haven’t begun to heat up.
You think there’s a lot of yelling on cable news now? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Every cat video you watch on YouTube will be preceded with ads calling Joe Biden incompetent and Trump the devil. (Here in Arizona, Mark Kelly is a Manchurian candidate, and Martha McSally a devil worshipper.)
So, we’ve got that to look forward to.
We’ll see a dozen allegations a week launched at the president, a few of which he’ll deserve, and a handful of rumors about Biden, the former vice president, and presumptive Democratic nominee, if he ever leaves his basement.
The conventions will follow, but in what format is anyone’s guess. After that, the campaigns really rev up, so the rancor about all of the above will grow exponentially. That drama would normally subside on Election Day, but who am I kidding? This is 2020 we’re talking about.
Whoever loses will say the other side cheated and, if the results are close, the recounts will last until the midterms.
You might think this is a downer but consider it a favor. Forewarned is forearmed and this year has been rough enough without adding false hope to the mix.
The good news is that you’ve survived this far without expecting the coronavirus or civil unrest. But for the next six months, we need to keep our heads on a swivel, spend time with loved ones, and focus as much as possible on the good, true and beautiful.
And maybe, just maybe, 2021 will put normal back on our schedule.
Originally posted on azcentral.com.Published in