2020 has been rough on everyone and Duluth is certainly feeling the effects. If the big man in red could find Duluth on the “good list” this is what we’d ask for:
A reprieve from COVID from those who have lived and breathed it for the last 9 months – the doctors, nurses, long-term care staff, and other frontline workers. We wish for them a chance to safely go home to their families to celebrate the holidays.
We’d ask for peace for those who have suffered from COVID or lost a loved one from the virus. There are no words to ease the trauma of what so many have been through this year.
We would want the elves to come up with a way to manufacture hope for the business owners, restaurants, bars, and entire industries that have had to send employees home, shutter their businesses, or incur expenses to meet the state government’s requirements to stay open. And more hope for those who have lost their jobs and the only way to support their families. Hope that 2021 will bring the open doors and open wallets to bring them back from the brink and propel them to a profitable year.
We wish for a silent night for Duluth. Our city has seen 40 shootings this year, nearly double the amount as last year. There is evidence that many of the shootings have been related to drug activity. The Lake Superior Drug Task Force has had some major successes this year with drug busts, but drug activity and the crime and violence that accompany it should be a major focus for the City of Duluth in 2021.
We yearn for normalcy for our children. The school and activities can return to normal and all of 2020 will someday be an obscure, surreal, faded memory.
We know there will be a lesson, that sooty lump of coal. We didn’t ask for it, but it has fueled discovery. We’ve seen the medical and pharmaceutical industries react with record speed, we’ve seen manufacturers and distribution industries step up to the challenge – first with PPE and now with vaccines. We’ve shined a light on our government and elected officials local and federal. We’ve seen where they’ve done well and where they have failed miserably. And we’ve exposed the media for their desire to profit over inform with sensational headlines and biased reporting. We’ll leave this pandemic worn but wiser, the slightest of silver linings.
We want a moment for everyone to pause… to take a minute to notice the steam rising off Lake Superior or marvel at a single snowflake.
We wish that it were safe for all of us to gather with those we love. We long for a big mask burning bonfire with a side of real handshakes and hugs. We hang on to the hope that next year will bring the opportunity to share moments big and small without restrictions.
Our hope for you is that you can grab a glimmer of the peace and joy this season usually promises in spades and hold on to the hope for a happy, healthy 2021.