A Quick Opinion: It is time to start looking forward to a bright future

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There is always talk about the haves and the have nots, or income inequality, and it has never been more evident than this year. Most of us weren’t affected financially by COVID-19 and the government ordered lockdown of businesses, but for those that caught the disease, had their hours cut, or were laid off, their world stopped spinning.

People used to complain about being on a fixed income and having to make tough choices when it came to money. Those on fixed incomes are looking better than those that live from paycheck to paycheck, especially when the paychecks stopped. The federal government has tried to make up with added unemployment benefits, but at some point those extras will come to and end or be reduced. Someday the economy will turn around in the service sector and jobs come back as restaurants, theaters and other businesses reopen, but until that happens, some people will continue to struggle.

Vaccines are starting to be delivered and the end is in sight. We should be thinking about what life will be like once this pandemic has passed into our memory banks and life gets back to normal. Normal will be when we can feel comfortable going to a play, walking into a restaurant, waiting for a table to open, and hugging our grandchildren.

That day is coming, just not right away. It will take some time before everyone has a chance to get a vaccine dose, or two, but when your name is called, hold out your arm and say thank you. The faster everyone can be inoculated, the faster we can get back to our normal lives. That will mean we can go out together, attend a sporting event or just watch kids walking to school.

I’m one of those people that have a birthday around the holidays. There are a lot of us, by the way. Thanksgiving and Christmas were different this year, as will birthday celebrations and New Years. No nice dinner out or a party with friends, but that is just the way it is. We’ll still be a year older whether there is a party or not and 2021 will start on January 1 even if we didn’t stay up until midnight celebrating with friends.

The bar isn’t set very high, but 2021 should be a great year. It may take a few months to get going, but by June, we should be on our way back to normal. Our memories of 2020 will fade away as we remember new additions to our families, lost loved ones and both financial gains and disasters. Someday, we may even smile when we talk about the pandemic and waiting for vaccines to be developed.

Just a personal note: It has been three years since Taylor took over the Express and I relinquished control (and ownership) to the McNaughtons. I’m glad to see the Express continue serving the community and look forward to writing this column as long as they will let me. Seventy is only a number.

Stay safe, keep your champagne cold and get ready for 2021.

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