Miracle of miracles, the crazy year that was 2020 is over.
It is hard to believe, looking back, everything that happened in a few months due to a virus.
From March to December, Taos, like the rest of the state, has endured closed schools, empty shelves and sports venues, lost jobs, shuttered or struggling businesses, exhausted front line workers, hospitals near patient capacity and loved ones who died - all due to COVID-19. Masks became a regular part of our wardrobes. Hands have never been cleaner from all the washing. Social isolation has weighed heavily on many.
Despite the terrible cost, the pandemic had some silver linings. Parents, forced to have kids at home learning online, appreciate the hard work of teaching like never before. With few options for entertainment during shutdowns, more people explored the outdoors. The urban environment had a much-needed breather from the constant rush and pollution of human activity. Neighbors and strangers worked to help each other through tough times. Hugs never seemed so precious.
It's time to turn the page on the old year and leap into 2021 with hope, perseverance, creativity and kindness.
Local leaders proved themselves adept at leaping in and handling a crisis the likes of which they had not dealt with before. Taos Pueblo's Governor and War Chief and their staff - as noted in a story in this week's Taos News - the town of Taos mayor, council and manager, Taos County, Holy Cross Medical Center and the leaders in surrounding communities, made hard choices. They were criticized, of course, for their decisions. But they stood their ground, paid attention to the science of how best to address the pandemic and adhered to the governor's public health orders.
When systems are tested and upended, like they were during the pandemic, it paves the way for new, better ways of doing things.
Taos has always had creative people. Some, like those at TiLT, are looking at ways to recycle plastic and start a new business at the same time. Others, including a group of young farmers, realized their ongoing effort to rebuild a local food network is more important than ever to ensure the community can feed itself. What else might Taoseños and neighbors in the region come up with that is completely innovative to address the ongoing challenges before us?
Never was there a time more important than now to have creative ideas on new businesses, rebuilding a local food safety net and addressing climate change.
Perhaps 2021 will be the year of innovation.
From everyone at the Taos News, we wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!