This Can Be an Extraordinary Year

2021 could be the year we defeat Covid-19

Andy Slavitt
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readJan 15, 2021


Photo: Anton/Unsplash

It’s not time for despair. It’s time to fix things and move our country forward.

There was a point in time in this pandemic when we didn’t know up from down. There was a time when people in charge were describing up as down.

We’ve seen the worst of the worst. We’ve been through hell, and we’re not done. We’ve lost things that can’t be regained. We alternate between fear, anger, loss of hope, and occasional real glimpses of life. But we are surviving, and we are remembering.

Extraordinary people are out there. In labs, holding hands with our loved ones, volunteering. And I choose to think of them and all of you when I think of this country. Not those waving the flag but those who live its values and try to make us better.

Yes, there is ignorance and hate and indifference and selfishness. There always has been and there always will be. But they can’t set our agenda or determine our course. Not for long anyway.

Having a president who cares and who is committed and is not scared and does not take everything personally will be a chance we haven’t had in a while.

The virus is not ready to compromise. And as much as it is known to us, it still has surprises in store. But it can be defeated. By science. Made easier by leadership and experience. And yet still requiring unity, sacrifice, and patience.

The less unity, sacrifice, and patience we have left in us, the more will fall on our frontline workers, our essential workers, and people living where there’s no escape. But I have learned we all have untapped wells of resilience we never knew about. And I think we still do.

Our tougher generations have been through depressions, oppression, fighting for the right to vote, to marry, to have autonomy over our own bodies. We won world wars. We know how to triumph.

2021 can be an extraordinary year if we make it so. There will be setbacks and hard work, but little by little, step by step, it’s time we defeat this. With better leadership, the country will have an opportunity to decide how quickly and how aggressively to support progress.