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Hoping for some real face time in 2021

In previous years, when I was working for the Free Press and papers in other communities, the issues at the end of the year usually consisted of, well, end-of-the-year wrap-ups.

I was thinking about doing that in my column this week, but realized it would have a lot of stuff from January, February and the first half of March – and then kind of disappear.

I guess technically the world didn’t come to a complete stop when COVID-19 hit, but it sure felt like it at times.

I am, as most loyal readers of my column (I’m sure there are one or two of you) know, an avid baseball fan. On Saturday, I saw a note on the MLB app on my phone about a special being shown on the MLB Network about the six baseball Hall of Famers who passed away in 2020.

I had to stop and think about what the names were, and even then I didn’t get all of them. When I looked the names up, I found one I was certain had died before this year and another one whose name in the list made me remember, “Oh yeah, I talked with Al about him when he died.”

I have talked with a few other people about this sort of forgetfulness, and while some of it can be attributed to getting old (well, at least for the other people, I’m still as sharp as a whistle . . . no, a whip), I think some of this year was the lack of other events to tie things to.

Totally bizarre example: If you ask me what day the authors C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley died, I know right away, and not because I have memorized the death dates of thousands of people.

No, they both died on Nov. 22, 1963, the same day John Kennedy was assassinated. Pretty easy to remember that date.

But in 2020, especially on a personal level, I think I am like a lot of other people. In previous years, I could sometimes remember when something happened because “that was a couple of days after I got back from holidays”. Not this year, with no holidays (or at least no holidays where I left Prince George).

I consider myself lucky. My Mom and one of my sisters live in Prince George, so I was able to see them on a fairly regular basis. My other sister and her family are in St. Albert, just outside of Edmonton, and we talked almost every week on FaceTime.

I think the thing I missed the most about the time after COVID showed up was on the After Nine show on CFIS. When I was the host, most of the guests used to come to the studio.

Now, very few of them do, and I miss being able to be face-to-face with the person I’m talking to.

I hope it’s different in 2021.

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