Good news, everyone: 2020 is almost over! Your beloved EGU Geodynamics blog team is taking a 2-week break to recover from this extraordinary year. Or maybe ‘unprecedented’ is a better word? I am – of course – referring to the fact that 2020 has been the most successful blog year to date. Not at all the fact that there was a global pandemic this year. Nope. Absolutely not. To tide you over to 2021, here are some holiday wishes and reflections on 2020 from the blog team. See you next year!
Iris van Zelst
Well, won’t you look at that: 2020 flew by (for all the wrong reasons)! At the same time, you might feel like you have aged an entire decade because of – well, let’s just try and talk about happy things, shall we? My 2020 didn’t go as planned (did anyone’s?), so there was a little less exploring of the UK than I would have liked after I moved there in January. Also distinctly less theatre visits than I had planned on. On the plus side: I now know every single inch of my apartment! You win some, you lose some, huh? So, I wish you all a very nice holiday. Simple as that. One where you properly shut down your computer, relax, eat all the nice things, hang out with your friends and family (as much as you are allowed), and above all else DO NOT THINK ABOUT WORK! Whoops. Maybe that was too aggressive. Still, the point stands: enjoy your well-deserved break and let’s hope that by this time next year we’ll need a break far less than we do now!
“Interesting” is how I kept describing this year to myself. At the end of 2019, I had just begun to feel settled in the US and was excited for all the new things I would learn and do, especially the responsibility of teaching a course for ~100 students. However, as I am sure all of you are aware, 2020 had its own plans for everyone. Besides the pandemic, the social and political situation in the US also made their own contribution to this very “interesting” year: from the Black Lives Matter protests and movement through what can only be described as a unique US election. Through all the turmoil, what gives me hope is still seeing the slow grind of science, across all fields, moving forward. Everyday new facts and wonders about the universe we live in are continuing to be discovered. At the same time I have seen the realisation grow that much work in the Earth science community remains to be done, for example, in terms of diversity and open science. Although it is tempting after this “interesting” year, I am not going to wish everyone a boring year. Instead I wish you all a very happy new year and hope that 2021 will be even more interesting, but, of course, only in the most positive way possible!
However unexpected and complicated 2020 might have been, it has also left me grateful. Grateful for those working so hard to get us out of this crisis, grateful for our jobs not being tied to one specific place, and grateful for the technology that keeps us connected even at a distance. I hope we can hold on to that while 2021 unfolds. I wish everybody wholesome holidays and a happy new year. Stay safe!
And then 2020 is almost (finally!?) over! How much more different it was than anticipated, and my 2020 new years resolutions could barely be met. Another year, another chance, right..? Besides all the troubles and negatives that were put upon us, 2020 has certainly also taught me various valuable lessons. One of these is that it’s OK to “stand still” for a moment and reflect, without planning out every minute of every day ahead. This turned out to be valuable for my scientific curiosity and motivation. I also realised that you can stay (very) close with your loved ones, even when not seeing each other in person. With that in mind, I wish you a period of recharging and laughter, wherever you’ll spend your holidays!
Running on loads of dead bodies this year is almost to an end. Like me, most people want to bid this year goodbye as soon as possible. However, apart from all the sadness, this year has played some crucial role in human society and psychology. After many years, people started to fight actively against a common factor, a virus, rather than fighting only against each other. The world has realised once again the importance of science and research. After the environmental disaster of Brazil and Australia in the last year, 2020 actually buffered the pollution level in many countries. Socio-politically this has been a turmoil year. From India to Chile, from Lebanon to France, from Hong Kong to the US, students’ and academic’s voices has been heard from every part of the globe. Another year will come like a day, yet it brings us hope for a better future. Hope for coming back to normal life into an environment friendly, peaceful world. Untill then, I am wishing a safe Christmas to all the readers and I hope you have an excellent holiday time before leaping into the next phase of life.
P.S. The year will be incomplete if I do not specifically mention my childhood hero and one of the most inspiring persons, Diego Maradona, who took his last breath in 2020. He will be remembered for eternity.
Lucía Pérez Díaz
Where has 2020 gone?! I know most people are calling for it to be over already, but I genuinely have no idea how time has gone so quickly. It was the year when I joined the EGU GD editorial team, the year I finally decided to start illustrating again, prompted by how much time I suddenly had on my hands (after a rather long hiatus), and the year I took up a job in industry (although I didn’t completely break up with academia…it’s complicated). Most importantly, it was the year when I was finally allowed to work in my pyjamas all day! (Just kidding, I never do that). It was also the year when people came together to shout that #BlackLivesMatter, when we started talking more openly about our mental health, and how the challenges brought by a global pandemic affected us (and how it is ok not to be ok sometimes), and when we were encouraged to find new ways to connect to those around us, and build stronger networks. Not unlike the rest of the year, the holidays are shaping up to be rather unique for most of us… but I hope you can all still make them yours, and that they allow you to forget about the world outside if only for a few days. Onwards and upwards!
“2020.” I could stop this paragraph just here – or perhaps add just one more word: C***D19 – and that would be enough to have a decent synopsis of the year. Everything has been flipped upside down and this has more than enough facets to fill books and books. I am not even trying to synthesize this here: everyone will have her/his own memories about this time. Geodynamics has certainly not been in the center of all of this, but many of us have used the extra time they would normally spend on other fun activities to be creative and push the community further. With new science. With new ways to communicate them. With new measures to keep in touch with your remote colleagues. Or with plenty of ideas, that are fortunately less affected by lock-downs and alike than experiments or conference attendances. So, let’s take these ideas with us into the next year and be ready to explore them in 2021. But before that, take some time to reflect your intense year and to recharge your batteries during a Merry Christmas and a Happy Start in 2021!
My Christmas wish for you all is to be as peaceful as you can. Special thoughts for people in struggle. The world went through big challenges this year. The pandemic and the American election unfortunately made other important problems much less visible. I hope the world restarts with greener ideas in 2021!
The Sassy Scientist
Well, what a year it’s been! One for the highlight reel, and particularly for the statisticians among us as the blog output has been unparalleled. As per last year’s resolution. Hopefully you and yours have not been affected negatively by the copious hours at home, ‘working’ from your ‘home office’. If you could call it that. I suppose draping yourself across your couch, staring at your laptop with an empty gaze and an even emptier coffee cup next to you technically counts as work. One way to respark some of that scientific, undergraduate-level fervor would be to put the espresso machine back on. Grind those beans and tamp ‘em while you wait on the boiler to reach the correct temperature. Pull the perfect shot. Wait a little ‘till the boiler reaches steam temperature. Fill the pitcher with milk, carefully dunk the steam wand and froth it like you’ve never done it. Poor that gorgeous froth with that special pattern and shake your shaker to dust a little cinnamon on top. Splendid! That should do it, i.e., it should muster enough energy to fill the EGU abstract inbox to the max. Hopefully we can attend the GA and other meetings, workshops and conferences physically again. Sooner rather than later. I certainly could use it. That said, let me just wander off and turn some electrical appliance on again…