By Addison Dunn
We are officially in the latter half of 2020. I am unsure if we are supposed to breathe a sigh of relief or retreat further into our bunkers. This year has been barreling forward even while most things have been put on hold. I will go out on a limb and say we are ready to crumple up 2020, throw it in the wastebasket, and reset with a crisp, clean page and new gel pen. Or is that just the writer in me? Anyways, we have all experienced some sort of dragging exhaustion that we would like to shake off. Pretend 2020 was a hoax, a gimmick, a bad dream… and pick up where we left off in 2019.
Vertigo might be the right way to describe our state of being in 2020. However, it has not all been bad, right? We have taught ourselves how to adapt and be resilient. How to sacrifice our time, plans, and creature comforts. We have learned how to find laughter despite despair. (Just check out the Covid memes on the internet–they are funny because they are true. Sigh.) We have had to find courage in an atmosphere of chaos and fear. We have remained tethered in our collective solitude, which has not always been so easy but shows our strength.
You see, there is always a silver lining to be found. Although concerts, plays, orchestras, ballets, and the likes have been canceled, music itself has been a saving grace. Spotify created personalized Daily Wellness playlists that update in the morning and evening with inspiring and relaxing podcasts and music. You can start your day by tuning in to uplifting podcasts and you can wind down at night to meditative podcasts. The playlist’s music will update according to your personal preferences… no matter your mood, they have a song for that.
Some of the world’s best musicians participated in “One World: Together at Home” to raise money for the Solitary Response Fund. The event came together when the United Nations and the W.H.O. asked Global Citizen to support its Covid-19 response by uniting through melody and inspiring people to take action. It kicked off with a six-hour preshow that featured Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Celine Dion, Elton John, Billie Eilish, the Rolling Stones, and others.
The American singer-songwriter Charlie Puth dedicated his performance of “See You Again” to “everyone working insane hours in hospitals, all the teachers, all the truck drivers, all the community service workers. Everyone on the front lines of this pandemic, you’re helping it go away,” Charlie said. “This is the first time, in a really long time, where the whole world had a common goal, and that’s to beat this virus. And we will.” Contributions from corporate partners supported and equipped healthcare workers across the globe. The W.H.O. shipped over two million pieces of personal protection equipment and supplies to 68 countries. They have raised more than $35 million through music!
Another highlight were the viral videos of Italian neighborhoods filled with opera singers and musicians keeping spirits high during quarantine. The water quality of the Venetian canals had a significant rebound too. So much so that dolphins, fish, and swans reentered the scene after years of exile. Rivers and skies across China and India returned to blue–a phenomenon foreign to generations there. For the first time in decades, people in Jalandhar could see the Himalayas from their rooftops–a mere 100 miles away. The Bombay Natural History Society stated that the pink flamingoes that migrate to their beaches are up 25% more than they were in the last year. New greenery is sprouting from the scorched Australian earth thanks to millions in donations and firefighters who flew into Australia (many from America) to help douse the fires.
Although many of us are bummed about our postponed vacations, staying local during lockdown has, in a few subtle ways, benefited us. For example, it has led to spending more time in the many beautiful parks that Kernersville offers. This not only generates a fondness for our lovely town, but it also offers a rich array of benefits to our wellbeing. Google Trends shows that during worldwide lockdowns the global number of online searches for “bird sounds,” “identify trees,” and “growing plants” hit double than what they were in 2019. We are becoming more in touch with our surroundings. Well, I cannot speak for everyone, but some are embracing this as a refreshing change to rethink perspectives and habits. I hope we can all look for the positive things throughout the chaos and look forward to calmer days ahead!