A year to forget?

My Nikkel's Worth column

Most everyone can agree, the year 2020 has not been a “banner year” in any sense of that definition, but instead has been a harrowing experience that hit pretty much the entire planet.

Usually when people look back on a year, it’s to recall the highlights, or the big news stories or the important events that helped shape the year for all of us at the local, provincial, national and international levels.

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The dreaded words, “COVID-19 pandemic”, pretty much sums it up for how 2020 went, making it a year to forget and leave behind us as quickly as possible.

The problem is, this year will be rather difficult to forget, what with lockdowns and cancellations of most anything and everything that has any meaning, at least for the first major lockdown that began in mid-March until the “Re-Open Saskatchewan” plan began on May 4.

One of the good things that came out of this year was the creative way people responded to the circumstances. As I looked back over the past issues of the Review for this year, one common theme emerged: people love parades.

So, there were birthday parades, there were drive-by parades for the long-term care residents of places like Tatagwa View and the Weyburn Special Care Home, and there was even a drive-by parade baby shower and a drive-by retirement parade, both for teachers.

One such event was for a dance studio marking its anniversary, and dancer families and friends all came by with signs and balloons, and on another memorable occasion, a young girl fighting leukemia had her last treatment and came home as part of a big celebratory parade.

As part of the birthday thing, the Fire Department came out with their trucks to help celebrate birthdays, usually of children, but once was for my then-colleague April (she loved it) and once was for a young-at-heart lady who turned 104 years of age.

In December, the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce had their Parade of Lights, which was a great success, and earlier the people of Midale had a Santa Claus Parade one fine Saturday on Main Street.

Perhaps one of the most memorable parades of this year for Weyburn was the grad reverse parade, with the grads lined up on Saskatchewan Drive as the community, friends and families drove by. It was a great way to help our graduates celebrate, even while they were being robbed of a once-in-a-lifetime event they can never get back.

These were in response to restrictive rules about gathering, and they were done in ways that kept people safe from catching anything of a viral nature.

I think 2020 also became the year of Zoom and related apps (like Webex and Microsoft Teams). Those enabled events like meetings to still be held; as necessity is the mother of invention, these apps helped us maintain some semblance of activity.

Let’s hope 2021 will really be better as we get back to life. How “normal” that life will be is anybody’s guess.