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January 28, 2021

12/31/2020 11:14:00 AM
My "year in review" of 2020
It can safely said that 2020 not only brought in a new decade, but it also brought in a new type of normal.
A normal that I can't imagine anyone being happy about. I remember last year around this time learning about the coronavirus. It hadn't worried me until January when learning that six UW-Platteville students arrived on campus after recently traveling to Wuhan, China. Two of the students were residents of Wuhan, and fortunately at that time none of them showed signs.
I had been speaking with healthcare workers at Upland Hills Health after learning of this. I was confident in that discussion, as we are very fortunate to have a local hospital that strives in being proactive for the sake of its community.
I remember feeling the full force of the "shutdown" as I was covering a first degree reckless homicide case this year. It was that time in early March when I learned that the WIAA began canceling its tournament events, along with businesses beginning their new protocols, and schools getting prepared on teaching students in a whole new way.
Before I knew it, I started the new normal of working primarily from home and covering government meetings through Zoom.
At times my anxiety has skyrocketed much like many, wondering if I would have a job and worrying if my loved ones would be safe. I knew going out in public, I most likely would see people underneather their mask. My heart broke for families who lost sources of income, a sense of routine, and those who struggled to navigate the new normal. I also think of the families who had seniors who had to have a different type of high school graduation, also students who couldn't participate in sports or other extracurricular activities due to necessary guidelines.
My heart also shattered when I learned firsthand how to handle grief through an international pandemic. Grief and closure have definitely changed this year, and I know many families who have not been granted the closure of having a service until 2021 when things are hopefully safer.
Not only was there a pandemic, but social injustice issues and election were added into the mix of an already anxious year. People's mental health have been tested in more ways than one, and we have learned how important it is to check in with ourselves and loved ones.
This year simply put has been an array of lessons: a new normal, a new way to go to work, a new way to communicate, a new way of educating our youth,
I am hopeful for the vaccinations, as they represent hope to many, especially to those who have lost loved ones. They represent resilience in the face of struggle, and they represent hope for a new year of new possibilities. Many well wishes and health to all for a hopefully better New Year.

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