When we rang in 2020, none of us could imagine the unprecedented year ahead. By spring, most schools closed across the country, leaving parents scrambling to find childcare options as their employees mandated work-from-home guidelines. States enacted stay-at-home orders, people canceled travel plans, and toilet paper became a hot commodity.
For most of the year, we smiled at each other with our eyes while our mouths were covered by face masks — a fashion accessory we never predicted. We scheduled Zoom calls to catch up with friends and family, arranged coffee dates in parking lots, and sought out plush bears in windows while walking around the neighborhood.
COVID-19 upended our lives — with job layoffs, financial hardships, illnesses, and deaths — but we did our best to seek and give comfort while maintaining a six-foot distance. Wildfires, cyclones, and hurricanes hit the U.S. with a vengeance, forcing people out of their homes. Even in the most progressive and diverse cities, Asians endured verbal and physical attacks fueled by racism and xenophobia as people accused us of causing the pandemic. During the summer, we saw forward momentum in the Black Lives Matter movement as hundreds of thousands of people protested and participated in online discussions about racial justice and police brutality toward Black communities.
As we close 2020 and move into 2021, we have much to grieve, just as we have much to celebrate (like a woman vice president of Jamaican and Indian descent!). Here at Mochi, we took time to share what we look forward to leaving behind, along with our silver linings. We’d love to hear about your 2020 as well, so please leave us a comment below (and we may feature your comments on social media)!
Things we won’t miss about 2020
“Virtual convocations, meetings on Eastern time (when I live in the SF Bay Area — cue 4:30 a.m. alarm!), [and] California wildfires (but this might get worse each passing year if there’s nothing done about climate change). But honestly, more things to be thankful about than not.” – Giannina Ong, Black Allyship @ Mochi editor
“Attempting to train and complete a virtual marathon solo due to social distancing. Getting mad at Expedia while trying to cancel all my planned flights for travel. Trouble with internet connections. Anxiety about almost everything.” – Carole Kau, marketing coordinator
“I am definitely not going to miss watching the joy slowly drain from my students’ faces during our Zoom classes; watching minority-owned small businesses shut down all over New York City; and watching loved ones get sick or struggle with depression and anxiety, but being unable to hold them. (As someone who was not raised in a physically affectionate culture, I can’t believe how much I miss hugging!)” – Sarah Jinee Park, Black Allyship @ Mochi editor and copy chief
“The incompetent, selfish and cruel response to *waves vaguely at everything* by many elected officials. It made everything so much worse.” – Jennifer Duann Fultz, editor-in-chief
“The general lack of care people had (and still have) for COVID, trying to brainstorm ways to keep the company I work for alive (we launched in February 2020), attempting to find the right mask that isn’t suffocating but also keeps me safe, and not being able to travel. I want to go on a plane and go almost anywhere at this point!” – Danielle Slauter, social media coordinator
“2020 was one crazy year. I won’t miss the fires causing poor air quality, or the pandemic, as well as the shutdowns threatening my favorite small businesses. I am also sad about ‘Terrace House.’” – Kathy Pham, web editor
“I won’t miss the man-made and wildfires or the open displays of carelessness and cruelty. I will miss buffet restaurants such as Souplantation.” – Yvonne Su, staff writer
“Between my husband and me, three of our grandparents passed away. Although we were able to attend memorials for two of them, we couldn’t hug or gather like we would during non-COVID times. The journey through grief feels different when there isn’t a defined moment, like a funeral, that brings people together to share, hug and eat. I also won’t miss the divisiveness and hate in this country due to ideological disagreements. I know those things will not magically disappear anytime soon, but I’m hopeful that having new leaders in place — ones who won’t perpetuate racism and cruelty — is a step in the right direction.” – Melody Ip, managing editor
Silver linings of 2020
“Mochi fam, Black Allyship team (Tria and Sarah), and Melody Ip! Also a vice president-elect that is Asian and Black AND a woman. On a more personal note, finishing my master’s degree and graduating, and spending more time with my now-toddler (eeks, I can’t believe he’s a toddler already).” – Giannina Ong, Black Allyship @ Mochi editor
“I got to spend a lot more time with my little family, including meals, which was a surprisingly healing experience for me. I somehow managed to have my best year ever freelancing and started working (slowly) on a novel. I met lots of amazing people through Mochi, my podcast and my business. And I quit a lot of social media, which has been great!” – Jennifer Duann Fultz, editor-in-chief
“I’ve been able to continue working, growing and spending precious time with family. Started some new projects, developed a little more self-confidence, expanded my music library, built some furniture, and bought an Instant Pot.” – Carole Kau, marketing coordinator
“Connecting with family during this year was really important, and I’m hoping that will last into 2021! I also somehow managed to lose 10 pounds, raised over $1,000 for charity, and decided to go back to school for a technical certificate. I feel like this year was a lot of growing pains, but I’m mentally and physically stronger because of it.” – Danielle Slauter, social media coordinator
“This year, we saw more dedication to practicing anti-racism in our daily lives, and I hope we’ll carry the same momentum for the Black Lives Matter movement into 2021. Especially with a new administration! On a personal level, I spent 2020 committing to a plant-based diet (and seeing many others do the same); rescuing, fostering and adopting out five kittens; and rewatching all five seasons of ‘Sailor Moon.’” – Sarah Jinee Park, Black Allyship @ Mochi editor and copy chief
“I found an apartment that I really like and is suitable for me, I got more politically involved by phone banking and joining volunteer groups (Mobilize.us!), and kept in touch with friends via postcards, text and video.” – Yvonne Su, staff writer
“I really embraced the slower pace of life that was forced on us because of COVID restrictions. As an introvert, I had a legit reason to cut back on social engagements. And even though there are challenges that come with my kids doing distance learning, our mornings now are more relaxed since we don’t have to rush out the door. I’ve also enjoyed the flexibility of having my husband working from home because it means I can get out for errands or walks alone during the day!” – Melody Ip, managing editor
Cover photo credit: Jan antonin kolar//Unsplash