Hard to imagine just what the new year will hold

A recent Saturday Night Live featured Kate McKinnon playing Madame Vivelda, a fortune teller, as she met with a group of clients in 2019.

“2019 has sucked but I think 2020 will be our year,” one of them says as the skit opens.

Of course the predictions she shares for 2020 — someone washing a bag of Doritos with soap, a road trip with no bathroom stops and indecent Zoom incidents, to name a few — make absolutely no sense to her clients.

If only we had known.

And now we again are on the cusp of a new year, and much uncertainty remains.

Some 2 million people in this country have received the first doses of vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna under Operation Warp Speed. With 21 million health-care workers in this country and 3 million people living in long-term care facilities, it’s just a start. But it’s a start.

The 87 million Americans who work in food and agriculture, manufacturing, law enforcement, education, transportation, corrections, emergency response and other sectors probably will be vaccinated next, according to The New York Times. Then adults with underlying medical conditions and people older than 65 will follow.

Large-scale clinical trials are being planned for vaccines by AstraZeneca, Janssen and Novavax, but it will take some time before a vaccine is available to everyone.

Many people are more than ready for 2020 to come to an end. For some, the year has been one of pain and loss. As one pastor reminded us in November, across the county there were more than 260,000 empty chairs around the Thanksgiving dinner table. Many of those who lost loved ones due to COVID-19 — or cancer or car accidents or any other reason — also lost the ability to mourn that loss supported by family and friends.

Others lost their jobs and the ability to pay the rent or put food on their table. For some, the isolation that came with COVID-19 was almost unbearable.

But 2020 was not void of joy. People got married and had babies (like our 60 Seconds family on Page 9) and moved to new houses and started new careers. Birthdays and graduations and anniversaries were celebrated — although in different ways. People reconnected with family and friends — and some even resurrected the family dinner.

As we approach the start of a new year, it’s difficult to know what to predict.

It could be late spring or summer before we’re able to resume activities we love, like eating in restaurants or going to movies or taking a trip. When we do, we might need to have our “electronic vaccination credentials” handy.

With any luck, athletes will be able to compete in some winter sports at Hinsdale Central High School, and all athletes will enjoy some sort of season before the school year is over.

One thing we can count on is the election on April 6, when residents will choose new village, school and library board members. (Find out more about who is running in the story on Page 3.)

Whatever 2021 holds, residents can count on us to keep them informed, entertained and connected to the community.

Happy New Year, Hinsdale!