Roger Marolt: Happy New Year, whenever that may be
Do we have to celebrate New Year’s Day on Jan. 1 this year? Do I need to remind anyone that is today? I apologize to all who stayed in last night and gulped champagne before nine o’clock and are nursing awful hangovers today, but it just doesn’t feel good to be celebrating what appears to be scraping the bottom of a trough with a tongue that can’t even taste the rust and dust there. I mean, 2020, a rough year by almost any measure, ended on what appears to be a pandemic low point. Why start a new year here? I guess we could celebrate having nowhere to go but up, but that’s like giving your kid five bucks for failing algebra 1.
Most of us have lost track of time struggling through this viral load of crap. It might now be a once in a lifetime opportunity to reset New Years Day. It could be a moving target. From now on, Jan. 1 could be a day we choose the date for the beginning of the coming new year, not the day we have to celebrate it just because that’s the way it has always been done.
I think many experts would agree. Dr. Fauci has implied as much. He and others warned we should absolutely not have gone nuts in the traditional sense last night. The red ball drop in Times Square could end up doing to New Years day what mistletoe did for Christmas — kissing acquaintances is worse than not wearing a mask. The last thing we need is a spike on a spike on yet another spike of new daily coronavirus cases. So many people are already postponing weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties, and vacations for the safety of all, why not the New Year, too?
My inclination is to have this New Year begin on March 11. That will be exactly one year from the day the NBA instantly shut down after a player tested positive for the new coronavirus. It was the day the World Health Organization named the virus “COVID-19.” The DOW dropped 1,465 points. The NCAA announced it would play its March Madness tournament without fans present (they later canceled it entirely). It was the day Tom Hanks announced he had come down with the ultimate case of The Crud. It marked the last day in history we would take toilet paper for granted. Jigsaw puzzle sales soared.
My guess, which is not as good as anyone’s but is all I have, is that this March 11 we will offer a collective sigh of relief as frontline workers and our vulnerable population will be vaccinated and 90%-95% safe from this bug. The rest of us won’t be far behind. The daily death rate will drop significantly. Major League Baseball will announce it will start its regular 162-game schedule on-time. Life as “normal” will no longer be a concept.
Or perhaps New Year’s Day already came on Nov. 3. It was the day the nation’s blood pressure dropped to the high side of normal. We can live with that. I don’t know how you could prove it, but life just seems calmer since Trump was smothered in an avalanche of mail-in ballots. Trump stomped loudly and carried a small stick, but the stick had a sharp point and he was always poking it in somebody’s ribs. Since we have rendered him an historical footnote filed under “Worst President Ever”, we no longer have to pay any attention to him and lots of us haven’t. We made America burp again and relieved the pain from the gas. I feel so much better. This would be a terrific start to the New Year.
We could also move New Year’s Day to Jan. 20, 2021. This will be the day Trump is officially finished. His Tweets will go unreported, and possibly added to the chorus of jailbirds singing. There will be no more bullying from the pulpit or trays of baloney served in the Briefing Room. There will be less confusion about whether we are watching Saturday Night Live reruns or the evening news. I’ll raise a glass to that.
Perhaps the best day to celebrate the New Year will be Tuesday, Sept. 7, the day after Labor Day. It’s the traditional first day of school for many and end of summer vacation. Hopefully we will finally be fully immersed in the regular daily grind again and back in the rat race. Besides, we’ve earned another four-day holiday.
Roger Marolt is training for the resumption of the rat race. He hopes to remain in competitive in his age category in the citizens class. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Columnist Roger Marolt is learning to hold his breath longer during these hot, dry summers, he writes.