The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with physical distancing measures and other directives, affected life for many. (Black Press file photo)

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with physical distancing measures and other directives, affected life for many. (Black Press file photo)

EDITORIAL: 2020 showed the best and worst in humanity

A wide range of responses and emotions could be seen over the past 12 months

Looking back on the events of 2020, the past year brought challenges none of us could have imagined.

The global COVID-19 pandemic had many of us confused, inconvenienced and frustrated as the spread of the virus and the attempts to control this pandemic affected our lives.

During this time, the responses – good and bad – were not what most of us could have anticipated.

This has been a year when many have worked to show love and support for frontline workers, and for people in need in our communities.

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Signs of support were displayed to show appreciation for medical staff members and first responders. People organized drive-by birthday parties for children who could not visit their friends during the early days of the restrictions. Friends and neighbours brought food and other supplies to people who were at home, self-quarantining.

Video chats with family and friends became commonplace.

For some, the pandemic brought family members closer than they had been prior to 2020.

But the past year was not all good, and at times it brought out the worst in humanity.

Some people hoarded toilet paper and basic food supplies at the beginning of the restrictive measures. Disposable masks littered streets and sidewalks, sometimes just a few steps from a garbage container.

Bad behaviour showed itself with some individuals shaming others for their actions during the pandemic. Motorists with out-of-province licence plates were the targets of ugly messages left on windshields and posted on social media. Others have had their vehicles vandalized.

And communities in the Okanagan and Similkameen, as well as others across the country, have seen incidents of racially motivated hatred. This was not necessarily a response to the pandemic, but it showed an underlying level of tension and animosity.

A new year is beginning, and with it, there are countless new opportunities to cope with the challenges 2021 will bring.

The choices we make – good and bad – will set the tone for the year ahead. Let’s see if we can’t make it one of kindness and support for all.

— Black Press

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