2020 Zoom & Gloom

The year 2020 will go down as the year that wasn’t, as Tracy area residents witnessed the closing of schools, the aquatic center, the Multi-Purpose Center and even the library for a time — not to mention a number of residential streets, including the main downtown thoroughfare (above) because of the ongoing infrastructure project in town. Now, it’s finally time to say ‘good riddance’ to a year that we would all just as soon forget — after you read this, of course:

By Per Peterson

Good-bye, 2020. You won’t be missed.

The photo on this page is more than the piece of heavy equipment sitting on a large pile of crushed-up asphalt you see. It’s a metaphor for the year 2020 — a turbulent, depressing mess of a year full of closures, stolen moments and cherished memories that never came to be. In other words, 2020 was a lost year — a year that let’s face it, we would just as soon forget. Indeed, 2021 couldn’t come fast enough.

A global pandemic — which, by the way, is still clearly very much a part of our lives — toyed with us all year, starting in March when some really bad thing we assumed was some other country’s problem hit home. Hard. When we heard about COVID-19 last winter, most of us didn’t think much of it at first. Perhaps it was naiveté that made us believe something called the coronavirus wouldn’t affect us. Maybe we wrote it off, believing pandemics, really bad ones, only kill people and take over lives of actors on the big screen.

Then, seemingly just like that, WE were playing roles in an all-too-real movie. Ironically, it wasn’t until we were told by pop culture that COVID-19 was serious that we started paying attention to the pandemic. All of a sudden celebrities like Tom Hanks — one of those actors who we enjoy watching in movies — announced he had contracted the coronavirus — at that time, we were still making beer jokes. And the NBA shut everything down without question, without notice. Soon we were worrying about our very future without having any hard facts.

On March 19, the first Minnesotan died from the virus. Five days later, there was another Minnesotan who died of COVID-19, then two more the next day. On April 9, 11 people were reported to have died from the virus, bringing the death toll at the time to 50. The state hit an unfortunate milestone on April 17, when it surpassed 100 pandemic-related deaths, as 17 people died that day.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article and the year in review.