In early February 2020, the last event I attended and covered was the bridal expo at Castaway in Burbank. I remember going around with my handy dandy camera, snapping away happily, talking with small business owners, and thinking that this was going to an amazing year. There were already some rumblings about the pandemic but it lacked any sense of urgency back then. They always say hindsight is 2020. Oh, the irony of it all.
Since then, it’s been a crazy roller coaster ride for every single one of us. We’ve all suffered losses in one form or another; may it be a loved one, a friend, a business, a job. Challenging doesn’t even come close to describing 2020. But despite all this, the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the resilience of the people and the communities that make up the San Fernando Valley. I’ve seen a lot of businesses think outside of the box to just roll with the ever changing demands and to keep their dreams alive. I’ve seen people donate their time and goods to food bank or toy/supply drive-thrus just to help out those of us that may need it. I’ve seen our frontline and essential workers just roll up their sleeves and get to work just so our community can thrive. There are even those who’ve kept the holiday spirit going with holiday displays at their homes; and even those who’ve created drive-thru experiences just so people can keep the magic of the holidays alive. There have been go fund me pages created just to save small businesses.
2020 has been a tough year but if there is one thing this year has shown me, it’s when the chips are down, support from the community will always be there to give what they can, especially to those who need it the most. I am holding on to the hope of a better year in 2021. May it see an end to this pandemic or at least bring it to manageable levels. I hold on to the hope of being able to gather, explore, and “talk stories” with each other. Until then, stay strong, stay safe. Take care of one another and just forge on.
Here’s to the promise of a better year.