The year 2020 started out innocently enough. In fact, for most of the world it seemed fine until March when the pandemic hit most of us hard. Really, it was Covid-19 that should have been next in line to become a swear word.
The thing that cemented 2020 as the thing that was malformed occurred a couple months later in North America. Giant Asian hornets had somehow managed to get across the ocean. I don’t remember their true name anymore, but I don’t have to. Their nickname stuck and these murder hornets were traced to at least one hive where a couple hundred queens were exterminated. Let’s hope that was their only hive.
I was tempted at the end of the summer, when I wrote about bigger black wasps replacing the yellow and black ones in my area, to invoke 2020 as the likely culprit. But I didn’t think it was a big enough problem to blame 2020. After all, although the sting was worse from these bigger black wasps, the swelling from the stings was less. And these bigger wasps had always existed in North America. It was just those of us on the northern front that were experiencing a 2020 moment.
Just a week ago, The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrived in New York and when being put up, the press couldn’t help but notice how scraggly it’s lower branches were. Immediately it was likened to the famous Charlie Brown Xmas tree. The press of course invoked 2020 as the reason for this tree having been picked and how fitting it was for this year.
And speaking of New Yorkers, I can just see Jerry Seinfeld saying 2020 just as he used to use the name “Newman!” in that derisive tone, indicating that the world had spited him again and he knew the cause.
So now I think that 2020 can be invoked like a swear word anytime anything goes wrong for at least the rest of the year.
Say your kids can’t go to school and you work from home so you won’t be able to concentrate or have use of your computer? “2020!” It snows before you have gotten your snow tires on your car? “2020!” You thought you could survive a Zoom Thanksgiving with your family without any alcohol so you don’t have any? “2020!”
It works so good as a curse word that perhaps it will carry on into 2021. Imagine you’re right at the start of the year and there’s a working vaccine but you can’t get it yet, while others do? “2020!” You’re an essential worker and you see all of what used to be your hazard pay go to shareholders as well as record profits! “2020!” Those who got the vaccine carrying on as if everyone else was immune, too? “2020!”
So it just might carry on. How about these as insults: “2020 head!”; “You twenty twentying piece of $#!+” ; “Have you got 2020 stuck up your @$$?”
I think 2020 makes a great swear word. But it’s up to everyone if it lives on in that way.