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Our View: A new year awaits

What a year.

It wasn’t too long ago that people bore gaudy “2020” glasses and crowded into Times Square to watch the ball drop. A new decade was dawning, and it brought hope and promise. It brought the future.

The news stations aired segments on the past 10 years, highlighting the best and worst while teasing a new set of years that would propel us forward.



Calling 2020 a letdown to a new decade would be an understatement.

Shuttered in and sheltered in place, we’ve watched the year pass through window blinds. We’ve socialized through computer screens and said our goodbyes through window panes.




But now 2020 is past. Put it in a box and shove it to the back of the closet. This year, 2021, is when the promises we waited 12 months for come true.

And next December, when we look back, we’ll say — what a year.

It’ll be a year of our local governments continuing to take their cues from Sacramento, regardless of whether state mandates fit Nevada County. Other counties may thumb their noses at the state, and they just might find out where that path leads. Our path — obedient and careful — will lead to heartache for some, but better futures for most.

The new year will bring more Bay Area and Orange County transplants to our county, despite fire insurance woes and spotty internet connections. Home prices will continue to rise, and no government can save you from that.

We’ll keep wringing our hands over water, and be fearful of drought, though we’ll continue taking steps to ensure our future water supply. Those steps might not include the Centennial Dam, though a transformed Nevada Irrigation District board will soon let us know.

These developments, however, will pale in comparison to the molasses-like disappearance of COVID-19 over the next year.

Does anyone doubt that the emergence of the coronavirus was the dominant story of 2020 and the return to normal life will be the main story of 2021?

Vaccines are here, but not enough of them yet to inoculate the larger population. We’ll continue to wear masks for a few more months, waiting for more doses to arrive and be disseminated.

Slowly but surely, most of us will opt to take the shot. Communities across the country and globe will begin to gather again. As the vaccine progresses through the population, we’ll see public events begin to emerge. The demand for concerts, gatherings, barbecues — you name it — will be through the roof. The cost of plane tickets and car rentals will soar.

America will be back in the driver’s seat and looking for a place to go.

Closer to home, we’ll see struggling businesses regain their feet and an overjoyed customer base flock to their doors. Some businesses will have closed for good, and those spaces will turn into a different service or residence — the latter perhaps helping ease our housing problems.

As for the regular folks who live and work in Nevada County, they’ll find hobbies gained during the pandemic stick around for the new year. People who discovered a green thumb or new trails to hike will return to these pursuits, even when regular life beckons. If folks realize they have a little more in the bank account, they’ll give a little more. They’ll make a point of greeting strangers when passing on the sidewalk.

They’ll nod and say, “What a year,” and hear in reply, “And what a year to come.”

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com


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