Continue to maintain positive relationships and make social changes in 2021

Images+via+Unsplash

Images via Unsplash

Only three days into 2020, the United States was on the brink of World War Three with Iran.  Soon after, COVID-19 panic put the country into a nationwide lockdown.  However, it was just the beginning of many future challenges to come. 

As unfortunate as these events are, it is important to remember that the issues faced in 2020 did not disappear on January 1st, 2021. The pandemic surrounding the nation has provided an opportunity to take a moment and appreciate loved ones while reflecting upon positive events one is grateful for. While challenges may continue or arise this year, it is best to remember to offer support to others while paying attention to world issues and continuing to make social change.     

Quarantine allowed the nation to reflect on their current relationships with friends and family.  Taking time to foster and maintain those relationships may help overcome unforeseen challenges. According to Mental Health America, ages 11-17 showed a 9% increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression in 2020 compared to 2019. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, 70% of people have reported that something contributing to their deterioration of mental health was isolation or loneliness. After a year of uncertainty, the pandemic has taught that it is more important than ever to be able to stay connected with friends and family through the use of technology or while applying the rules of social distancing. COVID-19 has affected families financially, physically, and emotionally, so reaching a handout and letting those people close to you know that they have someone to reach out to or to rely on may help ease their struggles as the pandemic continues.        

Last year brought up pertinent conversations about race and discussion about inequality and entering a new year, we should continue the progress that was made.  In a Pew Research survey, 52% of Americans say they have been paying more attention to issues of race in recent months. Huge strides were made with the Black Lives Matter protests as schools began to incorporate ethnic studies and a more diverse curriculum regarding the history of people of color. It is necessary to continue pushing for change and further the progress made especially in inclusion and diversity while challenging the injustices that are brought before us. 

People often use the expression, “In these unprecedented times,” however what 2020 and years past showed us is that times are always unprecedented. Let us continue to work on the challenges we face, rather than give in to them.