2020: The Year That Sucked for Pretty Much Everyone 

The Movement for Black Lives along side COVID-19.
These are the perspectives of learning how to cope.

A collection of personal narratives.

Authored and Curated by: Zoe Huval, Megan Ledet

Zoë "Zozo" Louise. They/Them.

This year has sucked; pretty much for everyone. We’ve been given a particular set of cards to deal. These past few months required tremendous problem solving skills and self discipline. Mental health declined greatly while moral dilemmas and unethical injustices were virtually witnessed. The south hasn’t responded respectfully to the global pandemic, nor the social pandemic at hand. But, we’ve made it to Thanksgiving...somehow. I’m exhausted and tired and sad every day. Waking up to just barely breathe, but witnessing others breathless;

“It’s just another day in paradise!”

Lisa Frank brand notebook with vibrant highlighters. NECESSARY school supplies to cope with the impending semester. The first academic article for ANTH 493 lays next to the sparkly notebook, titled "Language Ideology and Linguistic Differentiation".

The beginning of the semester I had joined the UL Americorps program. One of our volunteer sites was working with Habitat for Humanity to remodel houses for new clients. I learned some pretty cool carpentry skills. But most notably, was the measurement, cutting, and installation of baseboards. My supervisor gave me a fine toothed hand saw and taught me how to use a coping saw. I left that day literally telling them,

"Thank you for teaching me coping skills."

Little did I know, this became the anthem for the semester.

Facebook prompted this meme in my feed. I liked it. I shared it. It's relevant to my experience. Later that day I received two messages from separate accounts inquiring if I was doing okay. I was. I'm just sad most of the time these days.

Breathlessness can be easy to ignore if that’s your norm. 
It can cause anxiety; it can cause depression. 
It can cause night terrors; it can cause attacks. 
The norm can’t be ignored if you are breathless.

Lafayette, Louisiana. 

A society which witnessed one of our brothers get shot down by police
.. 
Breathlessness. 
The normative plea for forgiveness didn’t resonate with our community. 
Breathless, it woke us up. 
The breath was stolen and stripped of one of our brothers.  

How do you cope with a failing society?

I have a catch phrase, of sorts. It helps me get back to my senses because I tend to get trapped in existential wormholes of inquiries. But, when I say these few little words, I think to myself, man that sounds really dumb.. who says shambles anymore?

"My life is in shambles."

I had acquired these cow bones before lockdown. I imagined them as a mobile. I made them into one. I think Alexander Calder would be proud. But this is representative of the bigger issue at hand, which is the fractal creation of social heirarchy. 

"Wait. What did he just say?"

"I don't exactly... know."

"Back it up."

"Okay."

...

Biden went there.

Biden won the 2020 presidential election, he ran against POTUS 45, of whom do not call by name.

How do you cope with a failing society that is literally crumbling in front of your eyes? Well, you scream of course.

"AHHHHHHHHH!"

True reaction to a Trump/Biden presidential debate

My roommate an I have spent many sleepless nights drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. This night was no different, however, it was the night of the second presidential debate. It was slightly better than the first, but still atrocious.

Megan Ledet. She/Her.

 

When we were younger and in history class, wed always hear all these events, some being wars, or plagues, but for a lot of people it felt like "Why do we have to learn this? It could and would never happen to us. This happened years ago". Well this year, 2020, proved just how wrong I, and several others were as a kid, because now were living through it. We are living through one of the biggest pandemics are world has ever seen. This pandemic has brought on a great deal of stress to everyone, but for people that are imuno-compromised, or have family that is, this whole year has been a living nightmare.

"Just wear your mask and be cautious, thats all you can do for now." 

this is a picture of me wearing a mask i made on a plane because masks are essential these days.

When everything with Covid started becoming a real thing, I was working in the college program in Disney World for the spring semester. At first they told us we were going home for 2 weeks until they could open back up, but then two days later they emailed us saying they were sending us home permanetly and the park was being shut down immediately. I came home horrified because my mom just had a heart transplant and I was working every day in a park with 100,000 people on a busy day, I was horrified to even go into my house out of fear of getting my mother sick. I remember talking to my mom on the phone and her saying,

"Honey it will be ok for you to come home, my heart cooridinator said if you just stay in your room for 14 days away from me it will be ok."

I found this on the internet and its really relevant because most times i have to keeo 6 feet away from my mom to ensure her safety.

Upon coming home for Covid and being home for the summer, the new semester was quickly approaching. I had planned to be in Disney World but now I would have to go to school. With everything going on with the pandemic, on top of that the Black Lives Matter movement quickly began taking over every news station and on every social media platform. I remember ULL sent out a email telling us that a person of color was shot on campus by police during a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest. At the time this horrified me because I was already afraid to go on campus because of covid, now I was afraid of going on campus because what if a peaceful protest turned bad? 

"It's not white vs black, it's everybody against racists."

Throughout all the rallys and protests for Black Lives matter, on a lot of social media platforms people posted black screens in support of the black lives matter movement.

With the fear of returning to campus, for several reasons, I decided to take online classes and get all my pre-recs done and I'd return to campus next semester. Almost everything going on in the world, the transition to online schooling was not easy. But now it's almost Thanksgiving and me and my family are safe and alive, so I keep telling myself,

"Be grateful everyone is healthy and safe, we could be worse off."

With the transition to online, Zoom calls have become a very common occurence in my everyday life.

So, how have you been coping?

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