Reading a push notification about yet another national tragedy, 29-year-old Gina Dixon wondered aloud, “How has 2020 been so terrible?”
“What are the chances there’d be a global pandemic, multiple police shootings, and fires ravaging the West coast at the same time?” Gina muttered, forgetting she lives in a country that for years has prioritized its heavily militarized police force over infrastructure for public health crises.
Gina’s friend, Liz Singer, agrees.
“I don’t know how we got here, but this has definitely been the worst year ever,” Liz lamented as if the abstract concept of time were somehow responsible for stripping the United States of its emergency response funding.
The pair reminisced about the good old days, when they could go to brunch without having to wear a mask or witness mass uprisings against capitalist systems of oppression.
“Now it’s, like, a whole ordeal,” groaned Liz, referring to the safety precautions they had to take to protect their waitress, who still doesn’t have free health insurance in one of the world’s wealthiest countries. “I just don’t get how this country got so out of control so quickly.”
Gina expressed her desire for everything to “just go back to normal,” seemingly unaware that even when the pandemic subsides, the climate crisis will only grow worse as the years go by.
When coworker Kai Rosen brought this fact to Gina’s attention, Gina expressed confidence that someone will probably do something about it by then.
“I explained that politicians accept money from oil lobbyists, so it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the drastic legislation we need to reverse climate change,” explained Kai. “But Gina just responded, ‘Ugh, right? I can’t wait for 2020 to be over.’”
Liz insisted that “literally no one could have seen this coming,” even though medical experts literally saw this coming.
Although Gina assured Liz that 2021 was definitely going to be their year, Kai has her doubts:
“That seems unlikely given that the United States will still be run by a handful of billionaires who don’t care if any of us live or die.”