Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today and she has been writing weekly posts about COVID-19. We’re sharing them here. We hope they are helpful to you during this pandemic.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer awfulness of 2020.
First came the bushfires in Australia. They burned more than 72,000 square miles (nearly the size of Minnesota) and killed more than one billion animals.
Next came COVID-19, which (as of this writing) has infected nearly eight million people and killed nearly half a million, with the U.S. experiencing more deaths than any other country.
Then came the videotaped murder of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer – following closely on the heels of other racist acts and murders in the news – which led to an outpouring of rage, riots, and protests in communities across every state in the U.S., with more than 10,000 people arrested in fewer than two weeks.
And yet, despite all this, or rather because of it, 2020 could turn out to be one of the most transformative years of our collective lives, marking the turning point when unjust, destructive, and inhumane systems began to be toppled and transformed.
The changes are starting already.
The chant “Defund the police!” has gone from a rallying cry to the beginnings of reality, with the Minneapolis City Council voting to transform law enforcement in their city, starting with police department defunding. In New York and Los Angeles leaders are looking at their police departments with fresh eyes, fresh ideas, and changing budgets. Every day new policies are put in place to end police brutality, and this is just the beginning.