Selflessness with a side of voting

Does 2020 have you down? Here’s my recipe for coping

Emily DiSalvo, Arts & Life Editor

The White House released a model predicting COVID-19 will kill 200,000 Americans by Oct. 1.

Police have killed 781 people in 2020 so far, according to

At least 190 people died in Beirut, Lebanon as a result of an explosion that wrecked homes and buildings.

Chadwick Boseman died of a silent but painful struggle with colon cancer.

Wildfires rage in California, claiming 24 lives so far.

The year 2020 is thrown around on Twitter as somewhat of a curse — a malfunction in the DNA of the universe.

Graphic by Connor Lawless

The world is mourning, and you are a college student at a private university in Connecticut who has been told to wear a mask, limit social gatherings and follow a few simple rules. So, why are you complaining?

The year hasn’t been easy for anyone. But it is time to be selfless.

If you find yourself thinking, “I deserve to attend this social gathering because this year has been tough,” rethink that sentiment. Consider some other things that happened this year, and cancel your plans.

If you find yourself thinking, “I deserve to take my mask off around my friends because I wear it all the time,” think outside of yourself. Think about public health. Take notice of your friend going home to her elderly grandmother this weekend, and wear the mask.

If you find yourself thinking, ‘These rules about visitors and parties and social distancing are stupid and arguing that this is your college experience that you deserve to enjoy,’ consider the students at countless schools across the United States that decided to do online-only education and be thankful you are here at all.

In a time of grief, tweeting “Fuck 2020” on Twitter isn’t going to help your cause. It’s only going to get you and others bummed out about a situation that isn’t half as bad as it has been for others.

If you find yourself feeling like this, take a step back and make room for the people who actually have a reason to hate 2020. Think about Vanessa Bryant and her kids who lost their husband and father, Kobe Bryant, as well as daughter Gianna Bryant. Think about the countless families with holes in them due to COVID-19, some of which never got to say goodbye to their loved ones in nursing homes. Think about people whose homes were destroyed by fires and floods. Make space for the families of victims of police brutality to speak and share their stories, rather than filling the space with your mask woes.

It is time to be selfless. And it is also time to vote.

If 2020 got you down because of the horrible stream of events, trace these occurrences back to their roots.

Police brutality — the horrible treatment of Black people by police can be traced back to systemic racism that has existed in the U.S. since our founding and perpetuated by President Donald Trump. Let these voices be heard and vote.

Crazy hurricanes and fires — this extreme weather is the result of climate change. Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. Do your research and vote.

People in other countries have seen weeks without new COVID-19 cases. The U.S. on the other hand, never came down from the first wave because of Trump’s inability to form a nationwide response strategy. Think outside yourself, wear a mask and vote.

It’s September, and it is time to realize that 2020 isn’t going to be a shining spot in our scrapbooks or our Instagram timelines. Instead of mourning, complaining and clogging the air with petty grievances, be selfless. Think about those who have it worse and channel that anger you feel into voting.

This year was bad for a reason, and that reason was a president who lacked selflessness.

Find it in yourself.