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5 Big Wishes We Have For 2021

5 Big Wishes We Have For 2021
Illustration by Danny Gallagher
Every list you've read this year likely reminded you just how bad 2020 was for all of us. According to several retrospective features from news outlets (including this one), 2020 was "volatile," "disruptive," "frustrating," "disorienting," "surreal," "chaotic," "the worst," "a horror story," "an American nightmare," "a dumpster fire," "a radioactive landfill," "a year you'll never want to revisit," "the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we've ever had," "one of the worst years" and "the worst year ever."

It's easy to forget while celebrating the end of an unbearable span of time that there could be a sequel that's even worse than the original.

Well, screw that. Pessimism can wait another day. This year-ending euphoria is more intoxicating than a desert-dry martini. We'll have an entire year to focus on what will suck about the never-ending march of time and ignorance; let's just focus for one brief moment on hope and our wishes for 2021.

1. The Coronavirus Will Die in a Gasoline Truck Fire
Unless you're one of those chum filled bucket heads who still believe COVID-19 is a false flag event conducted by Hillary Clinton's secret cabal of pizza parlor pedophiles, you're scared about how the coronavirus will play out even with a new vaccine that's being unleashed. The numbers never seem to improve. Dallas County alone has had over 189,000 cases and has been in a red-level alert for who knows how long, and local hospitals seem to be getting more and more patients.

Honestly, any improvements would be welcome.

2. More People Will Wear Damn Masks
One of the key reasons cases don't seem to be improving on just about every level is because a noticeable number of people have turned wearing a face mask in public into a political issue. Anything that Sen. Ted Cruz criticizes other people for doing should serve as encouragement for normal people.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says wearing masks isn't just about keeping the people who wear them safe. It's also "a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others," according to official CDC guidelines.

Mask haters are the same kind of people who watch the crucial scene in Jurassic Park where Ian Malcolm tells the owner of the reanimated dinosaur zoo, "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should" and think, "Well, there's nothing in the Constitution that says they can't clone dinosaurs, now is there?"

3. Theaters and Venues Reopen Once Things Are Safe for Everyone
Thanks to the virus and the aforementioned Ayn Rand-ers, going out has become a distant memory for those of us who actually care about not dying. Technology may allow us to watch first-run films from our living room and simulate immersive experiences with virtual reality, but that doesn't make up for the loss of going to a movie theater or watching a live band play on stage.

4. We Get Back Every Great Place We Lost
Other places weren't lucky enough to just temporarily shut down. Some noticeable parts of Dallas culture had to make it permanent. Dallas lost some popular spots like the Dallas Comedy House, restaurants like Salaryman in Bishop Arts and the El Fenix location that spent six decades on Lemmon Avenue — and so many other treasures. Hell, we even hope The XFL gets a chance to make a comeback since it wasn't really its own fault this time around.

5. We All Learn From Our Mistakes
There's an annoying saying that every high school history teacher has uttered at some point in their careers. It was first coined by Spanish philosopher George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." It's annoying because it's true and seems to be the only thing mankind can remember when it comes to history.

2020 wasn't just a year of tragedies. We could also remember it as a year of hard lessons from the mistakes we've all made — from hard-working people trying to make ends meet to the leader of the freakin' civilized world. One of our biggest hopes is that we recognize our errors and learn how we can handle things better, instead of just memorizing dates for a future history test. It's more than about learning from the many mistakes we made responding to a once-in-a-lifetime viral pandemic but how we respond to and interact with each other on almost every level of human existence.

Don't make us repeat this. 
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.