Twenty Twenty vision. It’s how we describe crystal clear sight. That we are able to see every tiny intimate detail of a scene. That we are able to see for miles and miles or so close you can feel the warmth of your own breath.
Twenty Twenty vision is how we talk about the past, express how blurred our vision once was. Or how we talk about the present when things may try to blur it.
It doesn’t allow for complacency, it is somehow both raw and unassuming. It takes in the full colour spectrum of beauty and the deepest, darkness of the grotesque.
So it somehow seems apt that the year of Twenty Twenty should bring about the COVID-19 pandemic and the greatest civil rights movement, certainly of my generation, if not my lifetime.
It showed us the ugliness of racism in full force. It showed us that we have yet to graduate past listening to a man plead “I can’t breathe” because he was black.
It made us look. And it refused to let us look away. It made us start to wake up to things we had been blind to previously.
It showed us the fragility of life. It spread faster and easier than any of us could have known. Millions of people died around the world. Many departed from their families alone, or on FaceTime.
Millions of us went out daily to fight it. Who had trained for years for moments like this, that they hoped would never come. They held the hands of their patients as they died, they held each other when they cried.
We saw the darkness of isolation and the pain of loss in all its dreadful enormity.
Twenty twenty did as it promised, it showed us everything. It showed us the importance of humanity, of empathy, of love. It taught us that respect has to be earned and can’t be demanded just because you carry a badge.
It showed us where we need to build better fairer systems to better serve whole communities and not just sections of them.
But most of all it showed us that it’s up to us to fix these things. After all, if we don’t, then what was it all for?