Planet Pandemic: Farewell 2020

New Year / First Week

While much can be said about the year that unleashed the first global pandemic upon this millennium, I find myself contemplating one thought.  They call the pandemic “the great equalizer”. While there are many ways that statement is not true—most of them financial – almost every human being on the planet had their normal lives and ways of being out in the world abruptly disrupted. We’ve all lost access to something –people, places, or things– that used to give us our joy or esteem or sense of purpose. In many respects we’re all going through something remarkably similar together.

And now we have the start of a new year; a fresh page; a new beginning.  Congratulations! You’ve made it to the other side. We’re also still stuck in the limbo of pandemic disruption with many people beginning this new year with a deficit of hope. But don’t think for a minute that you are being invited to dwell upon our collective limitations.

This year is going to be different because 2020 also made us collectively confront our personal relationships with time.  Time is another great equalizer. While consumed with the uncertainties of pandemicing, it seems like much of the world has been lulled into a state of unproductive, meaningless action motivated by anxiety instead of intention. There’s a good chance that many of us aren’t making the most of our time — which is a shame — none of us knows how much time we get, and you can’t get it back if you squander it or die during a pandemic. Consider Covid-19 a wake-up call. 

The pandemic has taught us that surviving an event like this requires creating more self-sovereignty. Humans have more “alone time” and “downtime” right now than at any other moment during modern time. So it’s time to confront the lies we’ve been telling about our free time and all the things we could accomplish, or the enjoyment we could be experiencing, if only we had more of it.  Right now, we all know the truth: we have nothing but time, until we don’t.

If you need a goal for the year or a late resolution to make, I’d like to suggest making 2021 the year you stop undervaluing your time.

  1. Hello! I am with the National Amusement Park Historical Association, a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that promotes and preserves amusement park history. We are currently gathering materials for an article in our magazine about several northeastern PA parks: Croop’s Glen, Harvey’s Lake, and Sans Souci, I saw that you have a great collection of Croop’s Glen photos that were donated. I am hoping you could provide me with information on how to use those images or who to connect with. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Joshua! I don’t have great news for you, but I may have enough information to get you started. The person who provided the pictures was Sheila M. Brandon of Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania. She used to maintain a history website about Croop’s Glen and the Hunlock Creek Train Station. Unfortunately I think I connected with her via a now defunct Yahoo Groups history group so I don’t have any personal contact information. I would suggest reaching to any historical society organizations that cover Luzerne County, Plymouth Pennsylvania, or Hunlock Creek to see if any members of those groups know how to reach her or to see if they have any pictures for you. I wish you the best!

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