2020 arguably started off as a great year. While the idea of Covid-19 was in people’s minds, the world was not yet required to wear masks, people could easily visit their family and schools were open. However, in the middle of March, Maclay went completely virtual due to the pandemic, and Covid-19 had great impacts on the plans of many, as it shut almost everything down. The World Health Organization states that the pandemic has impacted many jobs and companies, and now, half of the world’s workforce is at risk.

The current pandemic has had negative effects on many things. It has cancelled numerous sport seasons, many of which were the athlete’s last one. It has also ended job opportunities, businesses and schools. However, the presence of Covid-19 does not mean 2021 will be ruined. Some have become more adapted to living life during a global pandemic, despite its various difficulties. Additionally, vaccines for Covid-19 are a positive expectation for 2021. The vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer is beginning to make its way across the country, as there are 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine currently in transportation to Florida. 

In the past ten months of dealing with the coronavirus, many have adapted to social distancing and are well prepared to keep these precautions up in 2021. With a new vaccine, 2021 may allow the world to go back to normal, without masks and restrictions. Recently, restrictions have been lessening in Florida, starting to bring back feelings of normalcy. In September, high school sports even started back up and are continuing throughout this winter. 

The increasing feelings of normalcy do not mean that 2021 signals the end of the pandemic and the difficulties people have been facing. Realistic concerns going into the new year are schools and businesses closing again, as Covid-19 cases begin to rise. Many had high hopes for 2020 and were let down due to the various challenges this year presented, so it is important to recognize that 2021 may not be perfect. While it is good to have a positive outlook for the future, striking a balance of also being realistic is necessary to go into the new year prepared. Additionally, with this new year, setting high expectations and goals for yourself adds more pressure on top of the challenges everyone has already been facing. Instead, people should recognize how much the world has battled and made it through this year by using 2021 as a way to recover from all of that. 

The country has seen Covid-19 cases rising recently, and there have been around 15.5 million total cases in America and 292,000 total deaths. Out of those numbers, 1.09 million of those cases and 20,000 of the deaths were in Florida. In Leon County, there have been 16,461 cases and 153 deaths as of Dec. 10. With these rising numbers, the possibility of school closing is not too far off, but now, Maclay is able to adapt if school were to shut down again due to the option of virtual learning. If sports get cancelled again, everyone can go out and practice with themselves to better their flaws. Also, with more free time, people can perfect a new hobby that they may be interested in learning. 

With the Pfizer vaccine being transported across the nation, the new year is ready to start with new opportunities. While 2020 has been a rough year, the world has begun to adapt to everyday life, creating more hope going into the new year. There are still many upcoming uncertainties in the world, but people having a positive and realistic outlook going into 2021 will help this new year be successful.

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