One Question Quiz

SocietyDecember 18, 2020

One great lesson from this absolutely awful year


The year 2020 is about to burn itself out and we can all put it behind us. Despite its terribleness, José Barbosa argues 2020 will be remembered as the ultimate fork in the road. 

In the last 12 months we’ve all been witness to some remarkable things. I needn’t go over them all here, but it’s safe to say humanity got belt around the ears quite a bit. So much so I think I’m physically shorter than when I started the year.

This morning a nurse sucked a great big nugget of wax from the inner crevasse of my head. She held it out to me on the end of her suction tube, so I could get a good look at it. I was in dismay and some disbelief that the disgusting, gooey brown muck she waved around had come from my body.

Living in 2020 has been something like that moment, but stretched out over 365 days. Nearly every day has been a gauntlet of disbelief, confusion and revulsion.

It’s only now, towards the end, that I realise the plug of wax wasn’t just pulled from my body, it was birthed by it. And so too 2020. The terrible pandemonium came from humans, and can be stopped by us, but it seems utterly out of control, so out of our hands. It’s a curse that we’ve cast upon ourselves. Maybe, if we’re lucky and if we’re strong, we can break it.

Keep going!