2020 – The Year Of The Misanthrope

2020 - The Year of the Misanthrope
2020 - The Year of the Misanthrope

Well, what a ******* **** **** of a year 2020 has been, globally.

It has been tragic for lives and livelihoods alike, but it has been the year when being a misanthrope became acceptable. Finally, it’s the default setting for people to not want to spend time with each other and to keep a distance.

Even wearing a face-covering prevents people from coming up to you in the street and saying “Cheer up, it could be worse…” Because no, it actually can’t be much worse.

I’ve dreamed of a time when I could actually call the police because neighbours are having a party, or not feeling obliged to say yes to an invite to a place I don’t like with people I barely like.

Social distancing? Government-issued stay at home order? Bliss.

It’s Not All Good News

However, don’t be mistaken, I’ve not enjoyed 2020 very much; and not just because of the rise of Zoom calls.

I mean, video calls are just the worst. Not only is it the chance to see the terrible internet connection other people have, but who wants to see a close-up of someone’s glitching face, especially during a time when we all admit to not making very much effort.

And the common misanthrope finds it difficult to interject into a conversation at the best of times. Now you find you’re always talking over someone, and then not talking at the exact same time, and then apologising in unison, and then starting to talk yet again together. It’s the cringiest experience I can imagine.


Or bloody clapping on our doorsteps, trying to be the loudest clapper on the street. What started as a polite British cheer for no benefit what-so-ever soon turned into people literally throwing the contents of their kitchen sink out of their front doors every Thursday evening. Because what the NHS staff needed during the difficult period was a round of applause from all the people who voted for a political party who have slowly torn the NHS apart so it cannot cope with a difficult period.

And social media became impossible. With the spread of fake news, you realised just how moronic and gullible some of your friends and family are. The army was constantly driving around the M25, China was watching their successful creation spread around the world, and Bill Gates was tirelessly working in the lab putting tracking microchips in every vaccine so he could track you more successfully than Google tracks your Android phones.

But alas, I digress.

This year, you were either one of those who hardly worked and struggled to make ends meet, or worked non-stop and struggled to carry on. And in a period when nothing was going on commercially, all banks and other companies wanted to advertise is how they’re there for their customers. While Morrisons were feeding keyworkers, Natwest was ringing customers for a chat and Dentists were doing the food shopping for the elderly, and making sure everyone knows about it.

Entertaining Yourselves

Of course, in a time where everyone is at home with nothing to do – or ‘working’ from home – there was also nothing to watch. Everything on the TV was cancelled, entertainment and sport like, except the news. The news was endless and all we heard about was death and infection rates when we would have normally been catching up with Corrie. Although, I did think the storyline of Boris Johnson being hospitalised was quite creative for the news, and Dominic Cummins having an eye test at a castle was some light relief.

Even Eurovision, the highlight of my year, was cancelled. No drinking games for us.

Incidentally, if you want a real conspiracy theory, don’t let it pass you by that Disney+ launched in the UK just days before all schools in the UK closed and we went into a national lockdown… #JustSayin

And so, during the first lockdown, you probably had a puzzle on the go or no excuse to finally start fixing things around the home and in the garden. I mean, there are some nice fences round my way now…

The Hokey Cokey

Once the R rate went down in June, that’s when the biggest game of the hokey cokey begun. In or out, no-one knew (and no, I’m not referring to the EU).

First, some kids we told to go back to school and the rest of us were allowed to tentatively take a few steps out and do some non-essential shopping. The Government even paid half the bill when we ate out in August to get the economy kick-started.

However, come September, the country is on the naughty step because everyone went shopping and had a meal out… Turns out, that pesky virus continued to spread and had no compassion for the economy.

And so began the highly successful tier system… Of course, nothing is confusing about saying those on one end of a street could go to the pub while those down the other end had to stay home.

Not to worry, at least we could all have Christmas together, even just for a few days with a few friends. Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have saved Christmas – HURRAH! All that sacrifice was worth it and everyone can go crazy spending their money in preparation for the festive period.

Except, no. Who could have foreseen a Government U-turn at the last minute? And, in fact, if you live in the south-east, you must now hibernate until spring. It turns out, all that sacrifice of not seeing friends and family was so you could continue to not see friends and family.

But Wait, I Thought…

I know, I know, I know. You’re thinking that Misanthropes don’t want to spend time with other people, so, we should be rejoicing and gleefully waving those Christmas bells around?

Turns out, even misanthropes need some company. While I cannot comment on behalf of the whole Misanthropic Community (surely that’s an oxymoron?), at Christmas I figuratively let the emotional drawbridge down for a few weeks. I like letting my hair down and catching up with friends and family, breaking turkey bones together and eating all their chocolate.

So yes, while 2020 has become the Year of the Misanthrope, where I can proudly wear my badge with a 2-meter radius around me at all times, I definitely hope that by this time next year, we’ll all be together again.

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