HAJI MOHAMED DAWJEE: 31 December 2020 marks the end of Absolutely Nothing
It happens every year around this time. People are tired, they’re downtrodden, bad things have happened to them, they’ve lost people, quit jobs, cut out friends, not taken enough care of themselves.
There were one too many natural disasters, sometimes even something as mundane as polony became an enemy, AKA said something stupid, Cassper Nyovest responded and everything in the year was just a LOT, so then the hashtags start popping up. #NewYearNewMe, #IsFokolFestive, #YearEnd etc. You get the vibe.
And every single post on the socials are supported by the wishes and will of hundreds and thousands and millions of people just wishing the year would end already because all of a sudden in January, they can begin again and perhaps the next 365 days won’t be so bad.
And I can guarantee you, it’s going to happen this entire December as well until the clock strikes 12 on 31 December and then the New Year’s resolutions will start popping up.
Things could change. Years following have been better in the past. Yes, people will always have their personal struggles, but perhaps the world won’t fall apart as badly or boldly, overtaking every single minuscule detail of life, from economics to mental health.
And people keep saying it. “I wish this year would end!” or “2020 has been a lot”. But I have bad news for you friends, so what?
It’s not going to end because 2021 does not erase a pandemic, it is not ground zero, the line doesn’t flatten, the world doesn’t get a clean slate, people won’t suddenly have clean bills of health. The clock striking 12 symbolises nothing. Zero. 2021 does not a pandemic erase.
If you think 2020 was hard, the best advice I can give you is to thicken your skin because next year may be even harder. At best, it will be more of the same and life will never be as we knew it again.
You will have no New Year’s parties, hopefully. If you do and if you’re vaguely smart, it will be limited to a certain number of people where you will not hug nor kiss anyone and you will ring in the new year in the middle of summer with an obligatory suffocating mask on.
But because we’re stupid, hundreds of people will ignore all of the above and make 2021 even worse for the rest of us, attend super-spreader events and guarantee another ruined year.
If you’re going to wish so hard for a year to end because it’s been so terrible, then you may as well start throwing coins in the fountain pre-emptively for 2021. Because nothing is going change. It is not going to suddenly be a “new” year, or a new life.
The most you could do is work on those resolutions and may they be filled with promises to yourself to be a more considerate human being. To wear your mask. To stay home as much as you can. To practice social distancing. To obey the rules.
And most of all, to be better parents and say no to daft teens who want to attend matric rages, or whatever they’re called, and ring in a new wave of a pandemic that is deadly. DEADLY.
What were you thinking? Were you thinking at all? Reel it in guys. Reel it in.
Haji Mohamed Dawjee is a South African columnist, disruptor of the peace and the author of 'Sorry, Not Sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa'. Follow her on Twitter.