FEATURE ARTICLE

Friday, January 1, 2021
balooy2k@gmail.com
Arizona, USA
THE U.S. AND 2020 WORD OF THE YEAR! (HOW THE WORLD WAS TEMPORARILY CLOSED)

o describe the year 2020 in one word will be a conflicting and tasking job to do! To sum up, 2020—a year beleaguered by a public and universal health crisis, racial injustice, an economic downturn, climate disaster, political division, and POTUS's kindergarten leadership, trafficking in conspiracy theories, etc., looks mundane to choose a single word amidst widespread misinformation, disinformation, political impasse, and super spreading of lies. It will be very challenging and humbling to go for one word without considering the other words.

In 2020, on the other hand, our choice of words was overwhelmingly evident in our moral and social interactions. From all indications and perspectives as a profound lover of a new expression of the English language, one word kept running through the profound ways our lives have been upended or changed—and our language so rapidly morphed—in this freakish year-2020. I chose #unprecedented. The year 2020, to me, has been an #UNPRECEDENTED year in the history of the United States and humankind. What a year it has been! 2020 is a year that will resonate for years to come in the advent of human struggles for survival. It is a year of the survival of the fittest in the metamorphosis of the human race.

Man is a political animal; politics and man are inseparable. Politics is too cumbersome and dirty to play. If a man's sanity remains intact, he cannot play moral politics anywhere and succeed! The US's political space has been polarized and ethnicized by the "constructionists" of the deep state. "The deep state and its policy of allowing extremist ideologies to flourish may be the actual issues of concern." Those who are not familiar with the constructed ideology of the political extremists who believe in the deep state. The deep state is "a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of the government policy." The fringe interest groups politicized the most daunting health crisis in the United States. The basic and universal health care precautions were viewed as a political statement. Wearing of masks and maskless; social distancing and super spreading events for Covid-19 virus, washing hands, etc., became insignia of polity between the Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are known for masking up, while the Republicans are maskless. But the American people's resilience and resourcefulness withstood pandemic, politics, leadership, conspiracy theories, and the test of time.

Historically, the United States has always been a pacesetter in all human endeavors. The diversity of American life makes America an indispensable country amongst its global allies. When America coughs, the rest of the world catches a cold. But in the last four years, it has been the opposite. The principle of protectionism engendered by this outgoing administration isolated America from the rest of the world. The current affairs knowledge has shown how America has lost what I call the power of global political amalgamation. American allies have detached from the political cord of America. The new POTUS will soon be sworn-in to the office and face the herculean task of re-tying the detached allies' umbilical cords with the US. The year 2020 was an awful year that tested the US beyond measure using her unhinged President as a catalyst of divisiveness. But American spirit endures!

The year 2020 is also a year that abysmally halted human social interactions from a global pandemic, protests, and riots that cut across social and geopolitical divides. In the United States, penultimate 2020 general election, George Floyd was brutally dehumanized and killed by a police officer. The viral video that surfaced after the gory incident stunned the whole world and caused global outrage. From America to Europe, there were massive protests. 2020 US presidential election was also another unique event in the history of America. The unusual Potus brought "fake news," the usual but uncommon word in Americans' political lexicon. POTUS made the real credible news outlets the real enemies. The conspiracy theory networks and television stations became the extension and megaphones for spreading lies and unfounded stories. Every word and fake story invented by POTUS was the antithesis of those he used the word against.

In this pandemic period, medical jargon not frequently used in public was amplified. According to Dictionary.com, 2020 marked the year that various words like quarantine, social distancing, and zoom were either invented or "re-invented." Pandemic, COVID-19, existential threats, consequential, forky, asymptomatic. Just a few weeks after winter, "the pandemic introduced a host of new and newly prominent words that, naturally, only public health professionals knew and used. Specialized lingo, spanning topics from epidemiology to social behavior, formed a shared—and ever-expanding—glossary for daily life." Besides more apparent items like COVID-19 and Coronavirus, highlights include:

Asymptomatic, contact tracing; flatten the curve, fomites, frontliner, furlough, herd immunity, hydroxychloroquine, infodemic, lockdown, long-hauler, essential/nonessential, PPE, pod, quarantine, shelter in place, social distancing, superspreader twindemic, viral load.

The outgoing POTUS's chaotic administration is topical and historical punctuation in the American people's boisterous ways of life, and America's mouthing exceptionalism. Whether the world likes it or not, history will give rueful credit to the outgoing POTUS for directly and indirectly facilitating the (re-)invention of new words to educate the public. Potus's administration also indirectly engendered operation work speed to scientifically discover vaccines to curb the menace of coronavirus. The year 2020 will remain indelible and unforgettable in the minds of the people.

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