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The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Complications of cosmetic consumerism

Don’t blame 2020

Cassidy Bixby
It is time to step up and take responsibility for our actions; the issues of 2020 have nothing to do with the year and everything to do with us. Art by Cassidy Bixby.

It is time to step up and take responsibility for our actions; the issues of 2020 have nothing to do with the year and everything to do with us. Masks have been essential in the U.S. for almost a year now. The coronavirus has been keeping people away from their friends and family since March. Along with the pandemic, we have also seen wildfires, the Black Lives Matter movement, climate change and political turmoil in 2020; these events will affect us for years to come. However, blaming the issues we faced in 2020 on the year is irresponsible and will only cause further problems in 2021. 

As we continue into the new year, it is important to look back and reflect on 2020. Though the virus has caused many economic hardships and claimed over two million lives worldwide, it could have been prevented. We did not need a vacc ine to beat COVID-19. New Zealand was able to lift their COVID-19 restrictions while the vaccine was still in trials. If people had followed the rules, stayed inside, wore masks, properly sanitized after going out, and if the U.S. had shut down travel as soon as the virus was detected in Wuhan, China, then it would be likely that we would not be experiencing the pandemic that affects us to this day. Instead, people continue to ignore the mask mandate and social distancing, twisting the solutions to or mitigating actions of the pandemic into a political stance. 

Though COVID-19 has held the spotlight this year, there are still other global issues that continue to worsen through inaction. The point of no return is the estimated year that humans enact an irreversible amount of damage to the environment. The year started with Australia burning uncontrollably for nearly the entirety of a month. Countless trees and animals were lost to the blaze. Over the summer, the Pacific Northwest also saw aggressive wildfires that burned towns and caused evacuations. In Washington, we all saw the orange sky when it should have been a bright blue; when there should have been people hiking and swimming, many of us saw the videos of Oregon in near darkness. Wildfires are a natural occurrence. However, they are becoming more frequent and more violent due to human activities. 2020 did not cause these fires —  humans did.

Yet, people in the United States are far more eager to fix the economic crisis than the climate crisis. Both are crises; both should be causing a manner of urgency leading to a swift solution to the problem. Instead, companies continue to pollute the environment and overuse natural resources. There are many communities across the world already experiencing the repercussions caused by these large companies. A day is coming where all the money in the world will not be able to undo the damage humans have done to it. 

A sustainable future is not made up of simply recycling and meatless Mondays. Of course every little thing you do helps, but even if you do recycle, it is likely more than half of it will be tossed anyway. Cutting meat or animal products almost entirely, continuous reuse of materials and small-scale responsible farming are a good start for a sustainable future. Inglemoor has already started reducing their carbon footprint by removing plastic utensils from the cafeteria. However, we still have a long way to go. Continuing to degrade the environment by constantly creating unnecessary waste is nearly as bad as not wearing a mask. 

Climate change is also an issue of racial injustice as it has an unequal impact on African, Latino, and indigenous populations, as well as many countries that were colonized as they were overexploited. Last summer, the Black Lives Matter movement became a face of the fight against racism in America. People peacefully marching while being pepper sprayed and beaten continues to be a point of controversy challenged by the All Lives Matter movement as well as Blue Lives Matter. But BLM will continue to make noise while people continue to fear being shot in their homes and in the street by the forces meant to protect them. People will continue to march and face the rubber bullets until everyone of every race and culture has the same freedoms and security. It was not 2020 that began racism, and 2021 will not stop it. 

Last year we saw change start as laws changed and    awareness was spread, now it is time to keep it going. Even if, during the past year, you supported BLM and followed all the rules, our issues are still not 2020’s fault; 2021 will not be a better year simply because we want it to be. Blaming the faults of humans on 2020 will continue to invite an unwillingness to change. Humans are responsible for the pandemic, climate change and racism. A new year will not solve these deep-rooted problems.

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About the Contributor
Cassidy Bixby
Cassidy Bixby, Reporter
Junior Cassidy Bixby will be a reporter for Nordic News at IHS for the 2020-2021 school year. During this year she will explore and expand on her existing writing and artistic style. She also aims to bring out unheard voices from the Inglemoor community. In school you can find her wandering the art room, or in the American sign language, or environmental science class. While not at school, she will likely be at home with a good book, roaming around in nature, or working at a local Starbucks.

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Don’t blame 2020