It’s kind of rare when one event defines almost an entire year but the coronavirus pandemic has done just that. A lot has happened in the last 12 months, but everyone on every level has been touched by the virus in some way.

We’ve known someone who got sick or sadly, died from COVID-19. We’ve watched as health care professionals have been pushed to the limits to care for the sick. We’ve seen the financial and emotional impact restrictions, closures and layoffs have had on us or our friends and family. Students and educators have had to cope with new realities and strive to not lose out on crucial learning opportunities. We see that more of our neighbors are in need of help with everything from rent to groceries.

Compound those realities with what was a contentious election year and it’s no wonder we’re nearly all saying “good riddance” to 2020.

Although the election is over and, thanks to the vaccine, it appears we could soon turn the corner on the virus, there will be no immediate relief when the calendar turns to 2021.

This spring, the rallying cry for unity was “we’re all in this together” and we truly were. Times were uncertain—we didn’t know what the future held but we were facing it all together.

Although we’ve had lots of time to hone that feeling of unity, it still feels elusive many days. We continue to face serious times and attempt to tackle serious matters, but our society finds it difficult to put differences aside.

Newspapers like ours give readers the chance to express their opinions—and plenty of them have in 2020—but fortunately our pages have also been filled with stories about the people and organizations that have risen to the occasion and done what they could to help and that comes as no surprise to us. We are fortunate to live and work among people who are generous and caring. It’s a theme that runs true every year but in 2020 it was a real comfort to experience and write about.

As 2021 dawns, we are, for the most part still “all in this together.” Let’s hope we can channel that unity for good and find ourselves in a better, healthier place one year from now when 2022 is around the corner.