By ALAN SHACKLETON
BEACH METRO COMMUNITY NEWS EDITOR
Last year on Jan. 1 of 2021, I wrote a New Year’s Day column for Beach Metro Community News in which I said of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that the coming January was going to be a very tough month but there were better times ahead.
For me to have to even think about repeating those words in my column on the first day of 2022 has me feeling bitter and betrayed by the year just passed.
What have the last 12 months even been about if we find ourselves in what seems to be a worse situation a year later? I wish I had a clear answer to that. But who knows what’s going to come next.
I’m having trouble finding much optimism for this new year.
Don’t be looking to me to tell you there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and things are bound to get better. I said that last year and look where we are.
Maybe 2021 just disappointed me so deeply because of the high expectations. How could it be worse than 2020, which brought us the start of the pandemic, lockdowns, closures, economic woe, isolation and frustration? Well, somehow it was.
My column last year mentioned Winter Stations along Woodbine Beach and how much I was looking forward to it taking place in February and March. Of course, it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
And that was just one of a long list of disappointments that 2021 delivered us.
There’s a train of thought many people want to believe that things are going to be better in 2022 once we put the surge of Omicron variant cases in the rearview mirror. The way it’s looking right now, I’m having trouble buying that.
So what do we do about it? Give up? Bury our heads under our pillow and wait for 2023 to arrive?
Not an option. We can’t do that. We all have to keep pushing and fighting against this pandemic and doing the things that will eventually get us to the other side.
For this to happen we are going to require larger collective measures that prioritize the greater good of all. We will have to look to our political leaders to take the lead on this. Given past records, that doesn’t fill me with any more optimism for the year ahead.
What does please me about 2022, though, is that there will be a provincial election on June 2. Given the complete and cowardly abdication of leadership shown on Thursday of this week in which the people of Ontario appeared to have been abandoned by their government, that provincial election can’t come soon enough.
As we welcome this first day of January, we need to realize that how 2022 plays out will depend on us and the actions we take. There are parts of this pandemic fight under our direct control. These include getting vaccinated and not engaging in activities that could expose yourself or others to the virus.
We also need to continue making the extra efforts that we did last year to support the small businesses in our community, and the frontline workers who are doing such a heroic job for us.
We all need to look in the mirror today and decide what kind of people we are going to be, what is important to us and what we will do to make this year a better one. How’s that for a 2022 New Year’s Resolution?