2020 is almost over. Well, is it?

A man jumping into 2021. Photo courtesy Shutterstock

Soon we will be screaming “Happy New Year!” with a sigh of relief as this was a tough year for many of us. 2020 may be over soon, but the issues we have dealt with during this unparalleled and stressful year are far from resolved.

Of course there is a bright side to this because we were fortunate enough to have made it through the year, but we will shortly be smacked with the current unsettling, abnormal and unjust state of our country as the holiday cheer wears off.

Once we celebrate the ball drop in Times Square, kiss our significant other and tell everyone our new  year’s resolutions, we will have to face our reality as we have no real solution to police brutality and injustice against Black and Brown people, the coronavirus didn’t go away in a month like everyone thought it would, and the election still isn’t over.

But again, Happy New Year.

In 2020, American police officers killed 164 Black people from January to August, according to CBS News. Even decades after the civil rights movement, minorities are still targeted because of the color of their skin.

Names of the 164 Black people killed by police in the U.S. during the first 8 months of 2020. Photo courtesy CBS News

Police brutality, along with social injustice from citizens without a badge, prevails in America and we still have not found a way for everyone to live in peace without facing discrimination, prejudice and violence based on their race, color, religion, ethnicity, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), and national origin.

Police reform has a long way to go and a short diversity training won’t be enough. Other methods of force need to be emphasized, psychology professionals need to be available for calls involving mental health, officers should always have on a working camera with video and audio capabilities and officers shouldn’t be at peaceful protests with riot gear using excessive force.

We still don’t have real justice for Breonna Taylor. But again, Happy New Year.

As of December 2020, our country has reached almost 14 million total coronavirus cases resulting in 270,000 deaths with Florida responsible for almost 19,000 deaths alone, according to Google news. With many of our fellow citizens at risk to a virus with no vaccine, there is a large amount of people refusing to wear masks, attending or hosting large gatherings, and opposing of lockdowns and CDC restrictions.

News flash, the pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it and 2021 won’t mysteriously get rid of it on Jan. 1. This is a serious issue that our government has failed to get a hold of and will continue to result in more cases and deaths, as well as prolong this new normal that many people are tired of.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that Florida became the third state to hit 1 million coronavirus cases this month. But again, Happy New Year.

With an election that began a month ago on Nov. 3, we still aren’t done yet. Two Georgia runoff races will take place in January, which will control the fate of the U.S. Senate. With the last Democratic-controlled Senate being 12 years ago, it is necessary for these two races to vote blue for a 50-50 split or it will have a Republican majority.

More than 20,000 new voters who will be 18 and eligible to vote by election day are soon to come, according to The New York Times. This means that it is important for us all to motivate Georgia residents to register to vote if they haven’t already as these Senate seats affect us all, not just Georgia residents. The fate of our next stimulus checks, among other things, are voted on by these senators.

As our so-called president can’t accept his loss and refuses to leave office for President-elect Joe Biden, we should all come to an agreement that we need to pay more attention to those looking to be elected in these powerful, decision-making positions.

A 50/50 control of the Senate where Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will hold the tie-breaking vote is in the hands of these two elections. But again, Happy New Year.

I still believe the New Year is something to celebrate because of these unforeseen circumstances, but we all have to remember that 2020’s problems are coming with us into 2021. The end of the year won’t solve these problems because it takes for us all to come together to stand against police brutality, survive this pandemic, and encourage others that their vote matters.