2020 in review

It is 9:06 AM on October 31st, 2020. The weather is perfect for Halloween: there is no wind, the temperature is cool but not too cold, the fog level is well below Pedro Point and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. I do miss the autumn colors of Ohio at this time of year, in fact I miss having actual seasons.

In Ohio the leaves would have changed color and many fallen by now. The air is brisk with a chill in the morning changing to light sweater temperatures by the afternoon. This is what Ohio residents would call perfect football weather and I have very fond memories of a noon game at the Shoe followed by wonderful revelry on campus afterwards. So long as the Buckeyes won everyone would be happy and we all got along.

Well, that is my memory of it anyway and that memory is 20 years old. This is 2020 and times have changed. I’ve lived in California for over 15 years and I complain about not having actual seasons but have forgotten how depressing winters can be in Ohio. There isn’t even a lot of snow, just gray skies with cold rain that may or may not freeze. Everyone stays indoors for 4 – 5 months and seasonal depression is a real occurrence.

In 2020 fans cannot go to the football games but I’ve read in The Dispatch that many will host “tailgate parties” but in their homes instead of out of the back of their cars. These are the times when we all hate each other due to our political affiliation and this affiliation is now treated as importantly as a sports team if not more-so. This is all the fault of the NEW Republican party which has spewed out hate and poison for over a decade on Fox and talk radio which has resulted in a divisive and hateful President.

This political environment has changed the entire mood of the country. Lingering social issues are coming to a head, there is a pandemic run rampant and natural disasters occurring in many places. This administration has handled all of these just like a child would who throws a tantrum when something doesn’t go their way. There really isn’t anything the President couldn’t do that his fans wouldn’t support. In the beginning it was making fun of the handicapped, then it was putting kids in cages. Now it is inflaming social divisions, insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with them and doing everything they can to remain in power even if that means tampering with our own elections. No need for the Russians, the Republicans know how to tamper all by themselves with trying to hamper the United States Postal Service, limiting voting, asking hate groups to monitor the polls and the President saying that if he doesn’t win then the election was rigged.

What an idiot.

Trump supporters are like a cult, this President really can do anything and they will wildly cheer. I’ve lost one long time friend over this because he is simply too far gone, too brainwashed by Fox news. Even if we could have a reconciliation he would not be able to refrain from talking about Trump and how he cannot understand why I don’t agree. The three reasons we can no longer be friends and I really won’t interact with any Trump supporter is as follows.

  1. “China Virus” – There is a lot of hostility against Asian people in the stupid parts of America these days. Trump supporters I know say they are not racist and I already know that otherwise I would have cut them loose long ago. However, they are like Germans voting for Hitler. Yes, perhaps they don’t have anything against Jews themselves, but they really like some of the things Hitler is doing for the country. That Treaty of Versailles was really unfair and Hitler is fighting back! A bit extreme of an example but follows a similar theme. Today “China virus” and encouraging the racists, tomorrow something worse. If Trump supporters can sink so low so fast I really don’t think there is a limit to how far they can go.
  2. Proud Boys – This is a known hate group and hostile to immigrants. The President asked them to “stand by” during a debate. Let me put this clearly. The President of the USA is asking for assistance if needed from a known hate group.
  3. California on fire – Trump and his administration recently denied federal aid to California to help with the wildfires. Let me put this simply: A part of America had one of the worst natural disasters in its history and the President denied aid because California votes Democratic. Trump relented when he learned that the areas which needed help voted Republican. How absurd is this? Sounds like a good reason for California to leave the Union if you ask me.

These are only three main reasons which have occurred recently. My reasons for detesting Trump and his supporters are long and become longer with each passing week. In normal times this President would have never been elected but again, Fox and talk radio seemed to have cast an evil spell over a large part of America and the bulk of his supporters – middle aged, uneducated white men – are not intelligent enough to rebuff the rantings of a known con man.

And so, as you can see from the anger that comes through my writing my mind, and seemingly that of the entire country is dark, dismal and angry. The constant barrage of anger and hate coming from mainstream and social media is too much. It seeps into our minds and acts like a poison getting stronger and stronger unless we can find the antidote. The antidote is to turn off the news, turn off social media. This is hard to do however with the election coming up and the future of the country at stake! If Biden wins America can recover a little but there is a lot of damage to repair. If Trump wins America continues the downward descent into idiocy and folly.

Well, all empires rise and fall I suppose, I was just hoping I would live to be mostly on the rising side instead of the falling. As for my personal life I have lost a friend over Trump and just need to let it go. Isn’t that amazing? A lifelong friendship suddenly ended due to his support of a demagogue, liar and con-man? I fear he is going to spend the rest of his life becoming angrier by the day as he takes in even more poison from the Fox news channel. Maybe on day the dark cloud will pass and we’ll both look back in amazement at how the spell of national politics could so easily end a friendship. Well, he is on the wrong side and history will show that.

I’ve mentioned this in past posts but we’ve also lost five families who have gone back to Japan. We had a close inner circle bound by Japanese heritage and children the same age. Out of 6 families here in Pacifica five have gone back to Japan. That is also quite amazing to me. We spent the past 8 years together, watching our kids grow up and having plenty of birthday parties, barbecues and celebrations. Then in the space of two years that inner circle is gone. Time marches on and everything changes. Sometimes that change comes slowly and others it all happens at once. 2020 has been a year when everything happens at once.


I’ve spent most of this year stuck at home. That has been OK with me as we have plenty of space, our own gym and thanks to the internet plenty of entertainment choices. In the beginning we had a lot of projects but as the months rolled by all those projects we never got around to pre-COVID were completed. Now, we’re in a sort of routine and everything is fine but I cannot imagine how difficult this is for other households across the world. I too have stress but have found that exercise and meditation is key to keeping my sanity as well as having some space to get away. I am very thankful for my shed which allows me my own space so I can really concentrate on work and not be interrupted by the normal child interruptions. I would say that I’m in the top 10% of good lock-down setups compared to other households and there are times when I can feel the mental strain of it all. I imagine that a lot of mental illness as well as divorces will come out of this but the magnitude has not been realized yet.


It wouldn’t be 2020 without the largest fires in the state of California’s history. I’ll never forget having to not only be in lock-down in my house but due to smoke pollution confined to one room with the rest of my family. Along with mental illness and divorce another aspect that hasn’t been fully identified is the smoke damage to everyone’s lungs. I have my own sensor and could see that the pollution was over 150 most days for a month or two. We would quarantine ourselves to one room with the air purifier on high and even then it took hours to get the air down to a healthy range. Once that was accomplished we then had too much CO2 and not enough oxygen in the air! I really do think that cancer rates are going to skyrocket. We in California are all one big experiment in regards to the effects of long term wildfire smoke. I can tell you that at a minimum the prolonged exposure did nothing to improve our health, so what exactly are we all facing here?

In the first half of the year I often would ask myself if things could get any worse. I stopped asking myself that long ago but things continue to get worse! I’ve covered politics, friends leaving, COVID and fires but have left out much of the lesser problems. Now we’ve got the election in a few days and the nation holds its breath as violence is a real possibility. In fact other countries have issued travel warnings for those contemplating coming to America. This has always been a one way street for Americans traveling elsewhere, extremely rare (if ever!) for those coming to the USA. I’m willing to bet the military is on standby although they would keep that very quiet as it would be one more outrageous thing caused by the Trump administration. Silly you say? Well, they wouldn’t be very good military leaders if they didn’t have a plan for the scenario would they? Yes, under Trump America has become a banana republic.

The time is now 10:09 and I’m tired of writing. This is a special holiday and the start of the holiday season! I want to go capture a bit of the magic somehow but I’m tired of writing and my kids still have Japanese school. My options are to workout, read a book, do yard work or study Japanese myself. I’m not sure what I want to do next yet, I’m going to have to think about it.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/