I'm afraid to wonder what June of the disastrous, terrible, rotten, up-to-no-good, really bad 2020 has in store for us.

I wrote six weeks ago that it was time for 2020 to be on its way. Kick rocks, I said. Kicking us in the teeth time and again has been 2020's answer.

For that — and apparently making 2020 go from just a bad year to a historically unnerving train wreck — I'm sorry. Lighten up 2020, please. For everyone's sake.

The protests that have become riots after the brutal death of unarmed and subdued George Floyd at the hands of a Minnesota police officer have once again raised the stakes to unfathomable levels.

Let's just review what has happened in the first 152 days of this year:

> A global pandemic has killed more than 100,000 Americans;

> Unemployment has rocketed to levels not seen since the Great Depression, a phenomenon that will leave lasting scars on the economy long after a COVID-19 vaccine is ignored by anti-vaxxers;

> A nation bore witness to a police officer killing a man; our horror over that unspeakable act prompted at first peaceful protests that morphed over the last few days into violence in cities in the U.S. and over the world.

So basically, if you take the 1918 Spanish flu, the two decades of the Great Depression, and the racial, political and social unrest and conflicts of the 1960s, roll them into five months, sprinkle them with Twitter hatred, mix in our political divide and garnish with a looming presidential election, well, that's what 2020 has offered up.

And that may not be giving this five months of 2020 its proper credit.

Try to think of someone you know who is better off today than they were a year ago at this time.

I'll wait. The issues are so numbing and nauseating that it makes my stomach hurt, which makes me wonder if I have the coronavirus, which makes wonder if I need to go downtown to get tested, which makes me check the Twitter feeds of Times Free Press reporters Sarah Grace Taylor or Rosana Hughes to see if there's a protest planned today, which then makes my stomach hurt more.

We are not yet into the heat of the summer, yet simmering frustration, anger and, yes, rage have boiled over. The protests over the senseless brutal killing of Floyd are understandable. The riots, however, are not.

So, again, 2020, I apologize if I made you mad. Please reconsider your path, because if the worst periods of American history are going to replay in this calendar year, we seem to be just one step away from escalation.

And last weekend was the closest thing to a civil war that many of us ever hope to see.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson