Open Thread

Open Thread Final Update: That Was the Year That Was….

Let’s stand on the dock and wave bye-bye to 2020 as it sinks, finally, into the sea. Here are some last words and final thoughts as we close out the dumpster fire that just ended.

“This was a year that you were actually kicked out the door at the bank UNLESS you had a mask on!”


There were terrible losses.

“2020 was the year I lost my beloved brother…”

-Carol B.

“This was the year that I lost my dear wife of 57+ years…”


But there was still hope and optimism, too, and opportunities for learning new ways to thrive.

“I discovered so many new trails and parks in which to exercise, commune with nature, find serenity, maintain social distance and be grateful…”

-Joe I.

…including a certain senior-centric website, for which we say thanks.

“…Thank you Senior Planet for all you did and continue to do 2 to help get us through.”



The most hopeful note was sounded by this reader:

“…there are things every American adult can do, in her or his own way, to build a better country. We owe it to ourselves and future generations, to try.”

-Laura L. 

To which we say, amen.

On to 2021!


Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at



29 responses to “Open Thread Final Update: That Was the Year That Was….

  1. In 2020 the world was dominated by the pandemic and finding ways for countries, communities and individuals to continue functioning. 2020 ended with the start of COVID immunizations. In the US, 2020 was also marked by a presidential election whose outcome is still challenged by Donald Trump, leading to the January 6 assault on the Capitol. So 2021 is off to a dangerous start. Yet there are things every American adult can do, in her or his own way, to build a better country. We owe it to ourselves and future generations, to try.

  2. This was the year when it became clear that this country – between water and water and no war on its soil for over 150 – won’t survive.
    You can babble and strike kitchy “hugging” poses just for that long and that often and then reality hits.
    When history is murdered ( Hollywood’s preschool dropouts’ babbling is no substitute) and the population is brain dead, things happened.
    Nobody can survive walking upside down, worshipping enemies, transing toddlers, destroying everyone even with an ounce of decency, etc.
    It’s over, America. This cretinic generation had it much better than it deserves.

  3. A year of continued, growing turmoil for humankind but a year of sustenance for Mother Earth and other living species. Cleaner air, quieter days and trying to communicate better were rewarding and felt like blessings during these COVID days…

    Thank you Senior Planet for all you did and continue to do 2 to help get us through.

  4. 2020 was the year when we learned the true calibre of our young people. Kindness, social awareness and justice, health equity, community service, global urgency, political challenge are their mantra. They continue to make us proud.

  5. Overheard at Starbuck’s after the death of Notorious RBG:
    A couple talking about the Supreme Court

    Him: maybe Clarence Thomas will die
    Her: how will anybody be able to tell?
    Him: well, since they’ve been on Zoom he’s started to talk.
    Her: that’s because he doesn’t have to wear pants.

  6. 2020 was the year I lost my beloved brother; learned to give and accept more love and friendship; and realized the deep split in American beliefs and values. I spent more time listening to my husband, son and daughter – something I wanted to do more of, anyway. It was tough and it’s not over, but I keep on.

  7. I discovered so many new trails and parks in which to exercise, commune with nature, find serenity, maintain social distance and be grateful for the gift of breath that has been stolen from far too many others by a virus and acts of violence.

  8. I am relearning and learning new things on computers. I’ve been taking Spanish through UHCL on Zoom , attended church through Zoom. Gave up my car this summer because repairs were becoming too expensive, and am learning to use Uber and its senior group GoGoGrandparent because we have no public transportation out here. Good point I save money on gasoline, insurance, and repairs though I have to plan. My younger daughter, a librarian, set up office in her bedroom and before going physically back had to think out of the box teaching students, teachers, and parents the online, and virtual system they used. I appreciated vomments by Donna & Kathryn– they szid it all!

  9. That was the year that was an eye opener for me. I’ve learned to think outside of the box that I thought was a box! I’ve learned to do new things. I’ve learned to love with appreciation. I’ve learned to appreciate the loudness of my children 24/7! I’ve learned that life is full of thorns but they are on the most beautiful roses that emit the most beautiful smell. That was the year that I learned to appreciate life and respect for others than ever before!! This has been the most beautiful year yet!!!

  10. This was the year that I lost my dear wife of 57+ years, two of our favorite restaurants closed forever and the many other things that became non-existant or at least changed during this year proving that getting back to “normal” is a far fetched fantasy for some….

  11. This was the year that we had to draw on our inner strength to get by. … and to learn how to live from day to day because we don’t know what the future holds. It was a year of losses and at the same time, a year of hope .

    We don’t know what 2021 will bring , but faith and love will helped us carry on.

  12. 2020 was not a good year for me – I lost my husband and my physical connection to friends and family. On the other hand, I became more self-sufficient and learned to relate to friends and family in a different way. My daughter and I shared grief – and a lot more.

    Hoping that 2021 is an improvement – it certainly can’t be worse!

  13. That was the year that meeting up with a friend in the park to visit at a distance, chatting with a stranger, sunset beach walks, shopping at the Farmer’s market, taking classes on Zoom with people joining from around the world, having a loving partner to be with, became precious events in this year of high drama and restrictions.
    So much fear, anger and confusion. Small kindnesses eased our way through.

  14. 2020 has shown that technology like Zoom can be extremely valuable for all sorts of community groups, public libraries, and educational programs. Public arts programs are going virtual with concerts and dances. I watched a live Zoom performance of King Lear where each actor was at their own home but they used the same backgrounds so it looked like they were all talking in the same room.

    I don’t think all this will go away when the pandemic is over – we now have additional tools to bring people together from all over the world for lifelong learning and entertainment and fellowship. I’m optimistic many programs like Senior Planet will go back to doing activities in person while also including participants from afar using technology.

  15. That was the year that was an opportunity for me to see (Zoom) my family every two weeks for Family Karaoke instead my twice a year visit.

    That was the year that we first heard our brother sing. He blew us away singing a song from “Fiddler on the Roof”.

    That was the year that I found Senior Planet and got access to it’s many classes.

    That was the year that I got to see half of my 25 First Cousins quarterly versus every 2 years.

    That was the year that I met new people all over the United States and Canada as we learned about graphic tools, Zentangle, virtual museum tours, Google workspace, and Canva.

    That was the year that I shared opportunities to meet technology rather than run from it!

  16. 2020 was the year in which new life was created and delivered despite darkness lurking in all corners of the earth – that is the miracle of the holidays. Let’s believe that 2021 will continue this miracle and allow seniors to safely embrace all the new ‘littles’ in our lives!

  17. This year exhibited the best and the worst traits of the American character: civic involvement (new and renewed voting); racism; ignorance of the Constitution and the rule of law; separatism and cooperation. America is a walking, breathing contradiction.

    1. Agreed! I am so jealous of the parents of school aged children, who because of Covid, were forced to be at home with their children rather than running to the next school program, sporting event, etc. Those activities may be beneficial, but their importance has grown to rule the family. It is nice to see families enjoying time together playing board games, exploring the outdoors and being creative:)

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