I’ve just left Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s ablaze with COVID-19. Home to the horn-wearing hoodlum who stormed the Capitol. Rocky desert, filled with thorns. Ringed by freeways.
Now, I’ve hopped the border into California and am hunkering down in Palm Springs. The streets are empty, except for occasional middle-aged gays wearing matching tight shorts and bandanas around their necks. Nothing else.
It’s warm here. A hot 30C (86F) right now, in the middle of winter. I’ve set up a trestle table and beach umbrella in a cactus courtyard. It’s another of my improv studios that lets me work and keeps me sane. Another portable set-up that has let me work in places like Boise, Big Sky, Eugene, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Ellensburg, Carefree, Bainbridge Island.
How do I feel about the year ahead? Uncertain. It’s hard to plan when there is so much in the air. The Australian Government has just halved its intake of Australian citizens trying to return home. I could be booted off my flight home on at any time. Even the night before.
Hard to believe Australia’s borders are closed. No one out of the country. Very few people in. Yet, the United States recorded it’s highest single death toll in a day: 4,400 deaths. With that seige-mentality, here’s my top four predictions for 2021.
1. There will be a lot more hugging and kissing and loving.
Other than my husband, I haven’t touched another person for over 12 months. I’m lucky that I haven’t been alone. I’m lucky that I’m good with my own company. As I return to fortress Australia, as vaccines are rolled out around the world, I am looking forward to warm embraces. Though I will miss my husband awfully, while we we are split across continents for a while. I am looking forward to having conversations face-to-face. 2021 will make us more human. Something we rediscovered in the lockdowns of 2020.
2. The economy will boom.
As we beat the virus, and we will, people will want to do things. They’ll want to travel, they’ll want to eat out, they’ll want to make the most of every moment. In my mind, another roaring twenties is just around the corner. Curiously, art sales were big in 2020, too many people looking at their blank walls, I guess. I hope 2021 brings a similar art boom.
3. The world will finally take global warming seriously.
With Trump out, the world will take a serious, coordinated approach to reducing emissions. There will be huge investments in renewables because they now are more economical than fossil fuels. And laggards like Scott Morrison will be shamed into taking decisive action. Especially now China doesn’t want anything to do with our coal.
4. There’ll be a renaissance in art.
The novel coronavirus slammed the arts in 2020. It’s going to go crazy this year. Not just in new celebrations of artistic expression in visual and performing arts – but in new ways of doing things, new sources of inspiration, new collaborations and even new ways of consuming art. It’s going to be mad.
What do you think will happen in 2021?
I’d love to hear what you think is going to happen this year. What are you most looking forward to doing? Tell me in the comments below.