We’re well into a new year after enduring 2020, a year almost nobody will miss in hindsight. However, this moment in history is one nobody will ever forget. To mark the occasion, we share some memorable quotes of the moment. May the year ahead vastly improve as we reunite and recover from a pandemic and ongoing political chaos.
Dolly Parton Unifies the Nation
Since age five, Parton began writing music, and by age ten, she started appearing on local radio and television. From there, she never stopped, becoming the first woman in country music to have her own TV program, “Dolly,” in 1976. After many albums and movies, and a Dolly-themed park, she amassed great wealth but remains humble and charitable.
In the spring of 2020, she donated one million dollars to Covid-19 vaccine research at Nashville’s Vanderbilt Medical Center. As a result, scientists had a vaccine, and fans gushed she helped save the world.
“Shakespeare may have written King Lear during the plague, but Dolly Parton funded a Covid vaccine, dropped a Christmas album and a Christmas special,” tweeted author Lyz Lenz.
A Force for Good
In the Times, Parton says she wanted to make a difference.
“I just wanted to do really good work, and I wanted it to make a really big difference in the world … to uplift mankind and glorify God,” Parton said.
Although Parton is having a moment as one of the most beloved artists, she remains humble. Aways, she remains a force for good in the world, unlike many other powerful people.
“The more I accomplish, the more humble I become because I realize how [few] people are able to say that they’ve seen their dreams come true.”
Parton brushed aside praise for her help in defeating the pandemic.
“I’m just happy that anything I do can help somebody else, and when I donated the money to the COVID fund, I just wanted it to do good, and evidently, it is. And let’s just hope we find a cure real soon,” said Parton.
Below, Parton talks about Coronavirus Vaccine Donations with TODAY:
Saying Goodbye Via ZOOM
A couple married for 70 years faced their final moments on Christmas day. Pauline and Richard Payne of Northeast Ohio were in their 90s and otherwise healthy when diagnosed with Covid-19. Pauline passed away at 9:30 on Christmas night. The next day, Richard took his last breath in the same hospital room. It was nearly 24 hours to the minute, reports the Canton Repository.
Their son, Richard Payne Jr., described the loss:
“We feel cheated.”
After a long happy life, the Paynes faced an abrupt, unfair ending, like so many Americans this year.
“They had a great life, but a lousy ending, and that’s the resentment and anger part about COVID,” he told Fox8.
Knowing the end was near, he had to say goodbye in a ZOOM call.
“A Zoom call with her … that, without a doubt, was the toughest conversation I will ever have, cause it’s the last time you’re gonna be able to say goodbye,” said Payne Jr.
For at least 379,000 Americans to date, Covid-19 was deadly, affecting people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic status. Due to long-standing systemic health and social inequities, people from racial and ethnic minority groups remain at increased risk.
Politicians: Get a Grip
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) expressed exasperation on January 2, 2021, barely into the new year. After losing the election, Donald Trump received support from eleven Senate Republicans to dispute the election. For Klobuchar, it was an embarrassing turn of events.
“With all due respect to my Republican colleagues in the Senate who are doing this: can you please get a grip? Election officials across the country, including Republican Governors, have certified these results. This is embarrassing,” Klobuchar tweeted.
On January 6, 2021, a group of Trump supporters sieged the Capitol to interrupt lawmakers conducting a ceremony. The quadrennial act of certifying the presidential vote was taking place. Before the ceremony, Donald Trump called on his followers to “fight much harder” against “bad people” and “show strength” at the Capitol.
After Trump’s speech, a violent mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol, defiling the building with excrement. Five people died in what is being called a coup attempt, but the rioters seemed to be given preferential treatment by law enforcement.
Reacting to the resulting deadly siege, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace said:
“This is our new domestic terror threat – brainwashed Americans, people who have been fed a pile of BS so deep that they can’t find the truth with goggles on,” said Wallace.
Georgia Elects Their First Black Senator
On the same day the Capitol was defiled, Georgia elected their first black senator, Rev. Raphael Warnock. Only ten African Americans have served in the US Senate before him. Since November, the win was one of many election victories for women and minorities.
On the day of the vote, December 17, 2020, Warnock shared news about his mother:
“As a Black teenager growing up in Waycross, GA, in the 1950s, my mom used to pick somebody else’s cotton. Today, those 82-year-old hands picked her son to be a United States Senator from Georgia. God bless her, and God bless America,” tweeted Warnock.
See Senator-elect Warnock after winning the runoff election via ABC7:
A Better Future Ahead
2020 was an abysmal year, but better days appear on the horizon. Kamala Harris, the next Vice President, shared encouragement for kids across America.
“In eight days, we’ll show every child in America—regardless of their color or gender—that there are no limits to who can lead and hold positions of power in our country.”
Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube