Here’s a toast to what’s ahead in the new year

By Don Coble Managing Editor
Posted 12/30/20

It’s time to raise our glass and welcome in a new year. As we finally say goodbye to 2020, we can find great relief in knowing 2021 certainly will bring us greater prosperity and relief. After all, …

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Here’s a toast to what’s ahead in the new year

Posted

It’s time to raise our glass and welcome in a new year. As we finally say goodbye to 2020, we can find great relief in knowing 2021 certainly will bring us greater prosperity and relief. After all, can it get any worse than last year?

I’m really looking forward to hitting the reset button because I believe there are so many positive things on our horizon. Like:

• First and foremost, it’s not 2020. That’s reason enough to be optimistic. We were dealt a worldwide pandemic. We went through the ugliest political season of our lifetime. We were reminded of social injustices. Yet, we still found a way to work as a community to make sure needy children had toys and food for Christmas. We reconnected with family and friends. We checked on our neighbors. We refused to let all the discord of 2020 define us.

• Trevor Lawrence. It’s been a long time since Jacksonville Jaguars fans have been so excited about the upcoming season. The team posted its worst record in franchise history in 2020, and in the process became the biggest winner in the upcoming NFL Draft. Lawrence, the starting quarterback at Clemson, is considered a can’t-miss pick. Not since Andrew Luck was selected No. 1 in 2012 has there been such an overwhelming consensus of who’s the best available player in the draft. The real challenge for Jacksonville, however, is what it does with its other 10 picks – and $75 million in salary cap it can spend on free agents. Of course, the Jaguars have proven they are certainly capable of messing it up. Who can forget drafting punter Brian Anger in 2012 in the third round with the 70th overall pick and Seattle following up five picks later and taking quarterback Russell Wilson?

• Pfizer and Moderna. Although scientists have been working on the basics of the COVID-19 vaccine since the SARS pandemic in 2002, the fact the world now has a way to push back and defeat the deadly virus from China is a relief. By this time next year, we hopefully can refer to the coronavirus in the past tense.

• The Clay County Agriculture Fair. With support from the Clay County Emergency Management and Health Department, the fair will return on April 1 for an 11-day run. Not only is the fair one of the greatest economic engines in the county, it’s the annual event that brings the entire community together for a night of concerts, amusement rides and funnel cakes. Fair general manager Tasha Hyder said there are no plans to invoke restrictions. Along with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s every reason to buy your tickets now.

• The police. The actions of six Metro Nashville Police Department on Christmas morning are the very reason to respect and appreciate the dedication of our law enforcement officers. Those six officers went door to door to evacuate people from a man man’s suicide bomb. While they were able to get people safely to run from danger, they ran toward it. A police officer’s work often goes thankless and is criticized. In reality, their work in Nashville – and here in Clay County – is vital to our safety and civility. Thank you.

• No more shortages of toilet paper.

• Changing my vocabulary. I can’t wait to erase phrases like new normal, social distancing, flattening the curve and virtual meetings.

And now for this week’s random thought: Have you noticed how the paper pine trees that used to hang from rearview mirrors have been replaced in the past 10 months by masks? Not only are we reminded of COVID-19 every time we drive to the store, now our cars smell like week-old chili dogs.

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