A COVID kind of year-end

Usually this is the week when I review my success or lack thereof with my New Year’s resolutions from the past year and decide on my resolutions for the coming year. I’ve been doing this all my life; it didn’t start as a blogging exercise, I swear! However, in closing out this strange, unsettling year, New Year’s resolutions just don’t rise to the top of my list. Maybe it’s because just getting through 2020 seems like enough of an accomplishment, but COVID has temporarily killed my resolve to set resolutions.

The virus that has brought such life-limiting restrictions and grief to much of the planet for nearly a year has impacted millions of people directly, and now our family. Our extended family has just been hit with the cruel reality of COVID. An arm’s-length relative died of COVID on Boxing Day (aka Dec 26 in the U.S.). He was someone’s husband and caregiver, a father, grandfather, uncle, brother-in-law, and friend. And in the U.S., where he lived, he was yet another victim of a virus that has been allowed to get out of control. His life story, and the shattered lives of those who mourn him, is just one of the nearly 335,000 individuals who have succumbed to COVID in the U.S. to date. If he had died in Canada his story would have been one among the nearly 15,000 people who are being mourned this year because of a virus nobody had ever heard of a year ago. God help us, please let’s be writing about this scourge as past history by this time next year. And please everyone remember, “God helps those who help themselves.” In other words, stay safe and help keep others safe!

Having given up on my New Year’s resolution tradition for this year, I decided to take a look at which of my blog posts this past year have had the most hits and try to figure out what lessons I can learn from that when writing future posts. First off, I have to confess to have written far more posts than usual this year; it has been my salvation in this year of isolation to be able to sit down and write … and write and write. I apologize if some of you have felt bombarded with posts; just ignore the ones that aren’t your “thing”.

When I’ve taken the time to analyze my blog stats in previous years, there’s always been an intriguing mixture of topics that have risen to the top. Sort of a “something for everyone” assortment. Not so much this year, but then again, as we all keep saying, this has been a year like no other. Hopefully this year has been a one-off as well.

So … my top 10 blog posts for this year fall into only three categories, all three of which are new topics on my blog this year: Map Mondays (I never would have guessed there were so many people out in the blogosphere who shared my interest in maps), COVID, and racism. And … drumroll, please … here they are:

  1. Map Monday: global trade is an ancient tradition
  2. Map Monday: what are map projections and why do we need more than one?
  3. Nobody is born a racist
  4. Map Monday: language, culture, identity, and world maps
  5. Why the U.S.-Canada border isn’t going to open anytime soon – or the Atlantic Bubble
  6. America’s issue with socialism, so that’s what it’s all about
  7. A White Woman, Racism, and a Poodle – FranklyWrite
  8. The pangolin and Mike Pence
  9. Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving in 2020: give thanks, not COVID
  10. COVID life in our little corner of the world

Nothing too light there. Not much in the way of levity. No entertaining frivolity. And when I look further down the list, almost every post down the list is pretty serious. That’s the kind of year it’s been, whether trying to manage in a pandemic, deconstructing toxic politics, or addressing issues of social justice. Serious stuff, gut-wrenchingly serious. Let’s hope that sometime in this coming year we have cause to embrace a healthier, safer, kinder world. Let’s work hard to let the light back in, so that hope and compassion can reign.

I so look forward to returning to a more “ordinary” world where making New Year’s resolutions feels right and where writing a lighthearted post doesn’t seem inappropriately frivolous. Maybe even eventually not wearing masks, although that may feel strangely unsettling after all this time with our masks as our safety nets.

Enjoy the last few days of 2020, everyone. See you next year!

P.S. According to my blog stats, my blog posts have been read by people in 153 different countries this year. That’s kind of cool. Thank you, kind readers.

Where Robby Robin’s readers were in 2020

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28 Responses to A COVID kind of year-end

  1. AMWatson207 says:

    Happy New Year indeed and my condolences for your loss. And from my country to yours – I hope our long history repairs and continues. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roy McCarthy says:

    Just the 80 countries for me though I don’t take my blogging too seriously or put a fraction of the effort in that you do Jane. I see Canada is #6 on the list :-). (Oddly, with my ‘Beast of Jersey’ post in three parts, Part 3 was most read, then Part 2, finally Part 1 – it’s like turning to the last page of a new book 😦 )
    Happier blogging in 2021 Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol. As I said, researching and writing my blog has been my salvation during this year of quiet living. I love your finding that more people read each of your succeeding connected posts. I always find that these occasional analyses come with surprises. That’s part of the fun. Maybe I should start a joke series this year to lighten things up, what do you think?! Happy blogging and happy running, Roy. I’ll look forward to reading your 2021 entries.


  3. bernieLynne says:

    On occasion I’ve given your back stats and old posts some boosts as I sit and pick away at posts. I’m glad I found your site.
    Sorry to hear of your families loss — it’s as you said a far too regular occurrence this year. So much to learn.
    I always do a word of the year (also pre blogging days) and have no idea what it will be this year. It’s always a focus word that helps me find my way throughout the year or helps me release things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Interesting. I’ve seen through the years that other people have chosen a word for the year as well. I don’t think that would suit me, but it would be interesting to hear how the word of the year worked out for people this past year once COVID hit! Happy New Year, Bernie.


  4. Thanks Jane for a wonderful year of blogs and I for one look forward to continued reading in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s just too awful…so many lost lives. But I’m an optimist who truly believes that things will slowly improve in 2021. By this time next year, I’m hoping that we’ll all feel better. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. iidorun says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Jane. It has been that kind of year – heavy, emotionally and mentally (and physically if you’ve gained the Covid-19 lbs 😱). I very much appreciate your well researched posts! Hope 2021 brings more levity and laughter. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear of your loss Jane. Go gently on that one. I recently did an inventory of losses this year – people I knew but not closely, someone I sang alongside, colleagues from way back, neighbours, a special teacher who taught my kids and delightful Auntie Nellie, who was 107 and was more than ready to go. Only one of these losses was from Covid, but nonetheless it forced me to be thankful for the things – and health – I enjoy. May 2021 be a lighter for us all – we need more positivity to sustain us through the dark January/February days, and it’s my plan to search for the light within – a new habit has to be created there and then remembered. Most certainly in the face of Covid-19 and, in the UK, Brexit. May you find more light in the year ahead, and nah – I never do New Resolutions!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Couldn’t have said it any better, Jane. Collectively all of us are making pretty much the same resolution this time around, I’m sure. So sorry for your loss. May we think of all them as we see in 2021 later this week. Be well… – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Inkplume says:

    I always learn something interesting from your posts. Look forward to reading more in the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Number 7 was one of my favorites too, think I shared a link to that one. Also enjoy your map posts. Thank you Jane and so sorry to hear about your family member passing on, that is the saddest part to this year of 2020. I too am hoping for a better New Year. Happy New Year to you and yours and please stay safe out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks so much, LRH. You and I will have lots of company in hoping for a better year ahead. Wishing you peace, tranquility, good health, and great crafting experiences in the new year!


  11. Jean says:

    Sorry for your extended family’s loss! Stay healthy, Jane. Looking forward to 2021 on your blog, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I cannot tell a lie 😀 I do enjoy your Map Monday postings so I’m unsurprised they’re in 1st 2nd and 4th positions………….. Looking closely it doesn’t appear that you’ve been viewed in that most secretive of States North Korea, me neither, I guess that shows Kim Jong-un either blocks all internet traffic to North Koreans, or perhaps this medieval like country has neither computers or the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I very much appreciate you and all you do.

    Liked by 1 person

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