Editorial, Issue 5 – Volume CX – Don’t Mistake the New Year For A Reset Button

It’s not lost on anybody just how chaotic 2020 was. Before the pandemic, the wildfires in Australia were out of control and tensions between the US and Iran led the nation to believe we were in for WW3. Since then, we’ve experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, major earthquakes across the world, and even the threat of murder hornets. It truly has been an eventful year, especially in our lifetimes, so much so that the “New York Times” magazine branded it the “Worst Year Ever” on their latest cover.
As we approach the end of the calendar year, however, we on The Weekly have noticed that a number of people have expressed the idea that 2021 will somehow erase all the events that have happened since January 1. This sentiment of everything fixing itself once the clock strikes midnight is damaging for a number of reasons, especially in regards to the progress we have made amidst the pandemic and chaos.
We must first emphasize that the coronavirus is not operating on our school schedule. Come January 25, we need to accept the idea that we may still be learning remotely and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. Making irresponsible choices to hang out with your friends without taking the necessary precautions, despite a vaccine existing, is both damaging to yourself and selfish to those who cannot take the same risks that you can.
The social isolation that came out of the various quarantine phases left more time for self reflection, whether it was wanted or not. We hope that you use this time to reflect on the kind of person you want to be in the new year.
Furthermore, as the Black Lives Matter protests have shown us, the path to fix systemic oppression and inequality is not as simple as one tweet on social media or an Instagram story post to go with your theme. Real, systemic change needs to be made in order for this oppression to cease to exist, which means we cannot allow the movement to be overshadowed by whatever happens in 2021.
Our generation had the opportunity to participate in and influence the outcome of a major presidential election, yet the same political enthusiasm that many had expressed pre-November 3 seems to be lacking as we head into the winter. Just because Joe Biden has been elected the 46th President does not mean you can go back to ignoring politics and not worrying about the state of our nation. If the past four years have taught us anything, it is that we need to continue to stay engaged in politics and use that momentum to cause real change for our generation, and many to come.
To many, a new year means resolutions, and we on The Weekly would like to challenge you to add another resolution to your list for 2021. It is simple: do not pretend like the new year means anything other than a change in your calendar.
2021 is not magical, nor will it miraculously fix everything that has come to light in the past twelve months. Don’t go into 2021 thinking everything’s resolved, but try to maintain a positive outlook. Remember when we all thought “2020 is going to be my year?” Well, try and make 2021 your year while keeping in mind what you’ve learned.
For this reason, we ask you to resolve to not forget what we experienced in 2020, and to resolve to use those experiences to shape your actions in the years to come.