Oh 2020, how can we miss you if you don’t go away? Far worse for some than others, the events of this year have touched us all, privately and collectively. From lockdowns to not a spare square of Quilted Northern to be found, we have crawled through this dark tunnel into the waning days of December.
This year pounded away at our lives hammer and tong. Scarce good news has turned up to balance the seemingly increasing threats and dangers of pandemic, economic destruction, social turmoil, wildfires, an alphabet and a half’s worth of named hurricanes and murder hornets. Relationships have been tested by deep and damaging differences so far beyond petty personal aversions to salad bar ham cubes or smooth vs. crunchy peanut butter. Our beloved hospitality industry, and the people who define it, not only took the wrath of this year on the chin but suffered a devastating body blow.
Yet here we are. We’ve made it and as we approach the advent of a New Year and all that it promises, in a few days we can raise a glass and toast to the future. Come midnight on New Year’s Eve, after a spirited belting out of “Auld Lang Syne” perhaps we can tot up a sprinkling of cheers to the collective creativity and inventiveness that brought us through this relentless, good-for-nothing, rotter of a year. Our friends and colleagues in hospitality created operational playbooks and toolkits that never before existed. We swiveled and pivoted, created streeteries and parking lot bistros, employed QR technology for safe service, took temperatures, contact-traced, assembled and ran production in ghost kitchens all while gloved, masked, socially distanced, and swaddled in personal protective gear. We kept calm and carried out, innovated and persevered.
It does seem fitting then that we celebrate little victories and offer modest cheers and gratitude for some of our accomplishments and good fortune:
“Hey! I’m washing my hands more than ever!”
“2020, well, it beats living in the feudal system!”
“Glad I’m not Ann Hodges (famously struck by a meteorite in Alabama in 1954) she had a way worse year!”
“I grew twice my weight in zucchini this summer!”
“I haven’t had to wash any dishes in ten months because, carry-out!”
“Thank goodness were not living through the Icelandic volcano of 536 A.D.!”
So, crack open a bottle of bubbly, mix up a batch of quarantinis or better yet pour a SHOT. Cheers to all of us butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. Let’s prepare for the best. Not a minute to spare getting those black eyed peas on the stove to simmer up some good luck in ’21.