2020 Craziness Just Keeps Coming

As if COVID-19 wasn’t enough, this year is ending on a completely crazy note. Like many people, we stayed home over Thanksgiving and only visited family later, visiting my wife’s mother and not seeing anyone else. We did a Zoom call with my family on the big day and then ate dinner with our son at college (all of us on Zoom — he had cafeteria leftovers while we ate our fresh cooked vegetarian meal). But that wasn’t half the crazy 2020 had in store for us.

I’ve survived a semester teaching fully online and even directed a writers’ symposium that was fully online. All of that is starting to feel normal. But the craziest part was getting grades turned in while the campus where I work was dealing with a ransomware attack.

We’ve fared very well, with no loss to our major systems, which were back up and running within hours. PCs in offices were what was affected most, and though we hope we’ll be able to recover that data, offices were closed until hard drives could be replaced and computers disinfected. Faculty computers are still off limits, but I’m hopeful that mine will be okay, since I use a Mac and I’ve heard they weren’t infected and their files weren’t encrypted. If that’s wrong, I have most everything on my home computer or in the cloud, so I’ll be okay with minimal loss of data anyway, and since many of my colleagues were working remotely this semester, their PCs were off, so they are probably also in good shape.

It all happened at the very end of the semester, but we were able to get our grades in and communicate with students with very few hiccups. Our IT department has worked overtime to get us back up and running, and everything is going to be okay.

That’s what we keep saying about this crazy year. No matter what 2020 throws at us, somehow we’ll make it through, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know that’s not the case for everyone, and I feel very fortunate that I still have my job and my family, and it looks like we’ll make it to 2021 as long as we can stay healthy, wear our masks, avoid groups as much as possible, and keep dealing with everything this year sends our way.

Published by Kendall Dunkelberg

I am a poet, translator, and professor of literature and creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, where I direct the Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing, the undergraduate concentration in creative writing, and the Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium. I have published three books of poetry, Barrier Island Suite, Time Capsules, and Landscapes and Architectures, as well as a collection of translations of the Belgian poet Paul Snoek, Hercules, Richelieu, and Nostradamus. I live in Columbus with my wife, Kim Whitehead; son, Aidan; and dog, Aleida.

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