I’ve been feeling philosophical lately— maybe you have too. In the last 4 months, have you contemplated the human race’s place in the delicate balance of nature’s harmony? Where we’re going… when quarantine ends? For a year with that reminds you of the measurement for nearly perfect vision (20/20), there is ironically such a lack of clarity in the future and an almost collective feeling of feeling lost. So I wonder, what will we call this period of time in history books?

What Do We Call This Historic Time?

There’s The Dark Ages, The Great Depression, The Great Recession, etc. So what’s a good name to call this era?

On Wednesday, March 11the (the 71st day of 2020) the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19/Coronavirus a global pandemic. Then, in a matter of a few days the world went into quarantine, and we’re still not quite out of the woods. 

“You may forget but let me tell you this: someone in some future time will think of us.” 

Sappho (c. 600 B.C.) – Ancient Greek Poet)

How will future generations understand this time in history? For me, it feels like 2020 is the year of misunderstanding, but there have been so many names bandied about, it’s still up in the air.

Possible Names

“We are living in historic times” has been one of the most popular phrases of this year so far. I love hearing everyone’s different ways of referring to 2020. It’s like how people have different nicknames depending on their audience. My husband calls me Stephiepooh among other pet names. Our dog Samantha literally has over a dozen nicknames. We actually have a shared note to keep track of them.

Nicknames aside I feel like this is the year of misnderstanding because there’s a lot of misunderstandings going on. Misunderstanding the virus, misunderstandingeach other…it’s painful. Compassion is a forgotten way to combat misunderstanding, especially when it feels like humanity seems like it’s in decline. Here are a few name options from high profile people:

The impressively young environmental activist leader Greta Thunberg coined a great phrase last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: “setting fire to the boat.” It was to describe how she feels society is addressing the climate crisis, and the genius of it is that the phrase can be applied to so many situations.

Katy Perry refered to 2020 as “the year where if you make plans God laughs.”

Sidenote: In Greek, the word ‘history’ is derived from the word kleos (incidentally, Kleio is the Greek muse of History). History is not a”his” narrative, it’s an “us” narrative, and by “us” I mean every living being (bugs, germs, etc.). By the way, the personal pronoun in Greek for he is αυτός (pronounced: aftos) in case you wondered why history has a his at the beginning. Sorry for this tangent, but I found out I have a significant bit of Greek heritage from my 23andMe results, so I’ve been kind of exploring that culture here and there.

Whatever name the world arrives on for 2020, it’s important to remember that there have been challenging years throughout history and humanity got through them. That reminder helps me to have faith that we can get through 2020. You know what else does, besides my family? Hearing good stories like this one about a little boy who saved his little sister from being attacked by a dog.

Silverlining Starting To Show

We have lost so many people to COVID-19, but there was finally some encouraging news regarding developing a vaccine for it.

There’s still a blank space where the date of when COVID-19 will be figured out and life returns back to normal. But like that great quote from David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962) that goes “Truly, for some [men] nothing is written unless they write it,” what we call this year can be anything we want it to be. If we want to make this year better and rewrite it before the end of the second half, we’ve gotta do the work. We have to look at society like being on a basketball team; a very large basketball team, but you get the point.

Further Reading

Covid Conversations With One of America’s Richest Men

Why ‘Everything Is Cake’ is the perfect meme for our horrible era

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