2020 – The Year from Hell

Issue 172 * Blog 02-2021 * Read Time: 11 Min * Mind Over Matter, My Mind is the Only One That Matters.

Photo Credit – ShutterStock

Welcome Guys and Gals.

You can see what I thought of 2020 from the title of the first blog of 2021.

I have put this blog in the category of Mind Over Matter, My Mind is the Only One That Matters. Yet on the other hand, the post could easily have been put in the category Joe’s Health and Wellness due to the fact that I discuss the havoc that COVID -19 played in 2020 and the health and mental affects in can have on a person.

I have been asked by many my thoughts on the virus, the pandemic and election. I refuse to comment, but I will blog about all three, in the future. I will say here and now that I believe all three are tied together in a neat government package, then handed to the American people. Give Joe Coming Unglued a follow so you don’t miss it. Trust me, it will be interesting, and will piss off both political parties.

Some you are asking why not make it your next blog? After all it’s what happening now. Well here’s your answer.

I got more important stuff to cover.

Before we go any further let me make this point clear. I don’t think that COVID-19 is hoax from the government. It is real and it is a deadly virus, especially for those in high risk categories.

I know people who have had it. Emma, a fantastic young lady who keeps my hair looking as good as I do contracted the virus. I know of others who have had the virus. Luckily, no one I know has died from it, as of yet. That could be because everyone that I knew who had had it were young and in good health.

Photo Credit – ShutterStock

Most of you who follow the blog know I’m not in good health and fall in the high risk category. So yes I take it seriously.

Yes the virus can be nasty and even fatal is a fact; but on the other hand, how healthy is being locked down for going on almost year. How much of a toll does it play on ones mental health by worrying that a trip to the grocery store for food could lead to being on a ventilator, fighting for your life. Not knowing if the shelves will be stocked with the essentials, toilet paper, water and non nonperishable foods, could drive one insane.

What about those who can’t work. The stress of the bills and wondering how they are going to feed the kids takes a toll on even the strongest.

Although I believe introverts are having and easier time during the pandemic than those who enjoy being out and about and around people; doesn’t change the fact that they must also eat to survive, to purchase food one most work, it’s that simple.

What about those who can’t work due to the virus that are on preventive medications, high blood pressure, heart medicines, and so forth. That has to be a tough decision to make. Do you spend what little money you have saved for your medicine so you can live, or by food so the household can eat.

I know what you thinking, look at this selfish fool, want’s to open the country back up and infect everyone just because we are in hard times. He thinks he’s special and the only one dealing with COVID-19.

Well if that’s what you think, go for it. Tells me you have never faced one the scenarios above, you should be grateful for that. Truth be know I haven’t either, but I know people who have. As for as me being special, I am and a legend in my own mind.

Now that is out of the way, we will move on and cover the other events that 2020 dropped on some of us.

I live in Nashville Tennessee. Here the year started of like a whirlwind and ended with a boom. Let me lay it out for you and you will understand the title of this post.

2020 started out like any normal year. The residents of Sleepy Cougar Ranch were looking forward to the year with high hopes and big expectations. Plans for some road trips on the Harley and by car were made. I was scheduling book signings and laying out my yearly writing plan.

January and February were both uneventful and we were excited that spring and warmer weather were around the corner.

Photo Credit – ShutterStock

March roared in like a freight train and what had a been a calm year turned violently against us.

When I say roared in, I was speaking literally.

Ten tornadoes touched down across Tennessee in the late night hours of March 2 and into the early morning of March 3. They ranged from EF0 to EF4. The most damage was from Tornado’s 3 and 5.

Sleepy Cougar Ranch is located in East Nashville. The ranch is only 1 to 2 miles from the path that Tornado 3, a EF3 twister took. Due to the early warning we were already in the basement. When the sound of a fast moving locomotive got louder we took cover in safest part of the basement, which is underground. Follow this Link to see an aerial video of the devastation these twisters caused to East Nashville and other parts of the city.

By the grace of God our property was unharmed and most important we were all safe. Sadly that was not the case for many others and their property.

The clean up and repairs from the night of terror destruction had only began and was nowhere close to being complete when COVID blossomed. Roughly 2 weeks after the tornadoes touched down, the mayor closed all the Nashville bars and placed capacity restrictions on the restaurants.

That was the day the music on Broadway began to fall silent in Music City, USA.

This didn’t bother us too much. Why, we have always left Broadway to the tourist, so we seldom frequented downtown; we had our places on the East Side, where we live. We do enjoy an adult beverage with our meal, but bar hopping is not our thing so closing the bars was no big deal. Since the restaurants could only seat half of what they normally did our plan was to either make reservations or go before the peak times.

The problem with this, the places we frequented the tornado had demolished or if the building was still standing it was closed for repairs. So it was downtown or stay at home. We chose to stay at home and stay safe.

That cut out our date nights, which lowered my chances of getting lucky!

When we thought it couldn’t get worse the virus jumped to pandemic levels. When that happened, our in box begin to fill with cancellations of events and activities. Some of these activities I participated in for health reasons.

Photo Credit – ShutterStock

Exercise is important for a healthy heart. It becomes more important for a person like me with a bad heart.

The gyms shut their doors. That cut out the indoor cycling, walking and light weight training.

My spring bowling league was called off. That put a halt on our team winning the covenanted gold bowling ball trophy for the second year in a row.

More exercise cut from my normal life routine as I used bowling as a low impact activity.

The gym and bowling supplied the social interaction that is healthy. No your virtual friends on Facebook can’t take the place of personal interaction. Once this interchange is removed one must be careful as it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. This can happen even if people live with other people. So don’t think because you live in a family of 4 you are immune to feeling alone.

I didn’t like the decision to close the gym and bowling alley, but I understood and accepted it. After all there are 5 bowlers on a team so that puts 10 bowlers in close proximity and sharing a ball return.

Then I got totally floored and we had to scratch a trip off our list. Baseball cancelled Spring Training in the middle of it. Then to depress us more, they were not sure there would be a season.

What no baseball in the summer!

This I didn’t understand, baseball is mainly played outside. The teams that had domed stadiums could either play with the roof open or if that wasn’t possible could simply play at another field for home games.

As we all know they played a half season, but no fans were allowed to attend the games. I didn’t understand this either. Why not do like Nashville restaurants, seat at 50% capacity.

Once I got that digested more bad news came my way.

The last of April I was informed by my heart doctor that since I was high risk to avoid all unnecessary travel. That killed our trip to Florida for some R and R and to get an early start on our tans.

Facebook Post May 5, 2020

This was real depressing as my body craves sun and the heat that the sun provides.

I had already been notified by Rock Haven Lodge that they would not be opening on their normal date, due to the virus. I’m not sure but I believe the new opening date was rescheduled to May 15, 2020.

Our plan, get our sun there. I figured we would rent a cabin for a week and I would also use the visit as a writers retreat.

Well as you can see by the above pic from their Facebook post that didn’t work out as planned. Now this is when I began to think that maybe, we the people were being lead around like sheep or cows going to slaughter. At this time we all were practicing social distancing and wearing face mask.

This is why to me, it didn’t add up. If you have ever been to a nudist park you know that you are hardly ever within six feet of another person, well with the exception of your significant other. Rock Haven is situated on 25 peaceful acres so spacing is not an issue. The only closed in spaces are the cabins you rent and those are for extended stays. You can wear shoes for safety so why not a mask for safety.

Like most cities Nashville endured a riot, I believe it was on May 30, 2020. For some reason these gathers are allowed with social distancing and masks, as an option! The peaceful protesters, that’s bullshit, these were thugs or as I like to call them domestic terrorist and needed to be shot. Anyway these people caught fire to the court house, destroyed government property and added insult to an all ready suffering downtown, by breaking store front windows and looting.

This action caused curfews, hurting the already nonexistent tourism and downtown businesses more.

September 2020 was the roughest month for the residents of Sleepy Cougar Ranch. Priss the Regal Beagle had to be put down. I’ll blog about this precious creature next.

From September to December COVID-19 continued to kill, even with social distancing and the use of masks. It continued to spread with the bars closed, the restaurants at half capacity and having to close by 10pm. The death toll continued to rise as the restaurants were forced to only serve outside and then when they were ordered to close all together. Reports began coming in that a new strain had been detected over the great pond, then here in the states, out west somewhere.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching more restrictions were put on the people of America. Now they were telling us where you could go and how many people you could have in your own home over the holidays.

Since gatherings at your own home were limited and interstate travel was consider a no-no, families began stressing over Christmas. Video chatting with family is OK, but it’s not the same as a family gathering for Christmas.

Nerveless once December arrived we all were hoping that a New Year would provide some relief from the virus that refused to let go of humanity.

We have covered COVID and the whirlwind now to the boom!

Christmas morning all of us at the ranch were literally shaken out of bed at 6:30am, seconds later the loud boom reached our ears, rattling the windows. TC, our second in command in reporting news, got on it. Our chief news reporter the Queen, was still in a daze as she had not had her coffee yet. Minutes later TC gave us the report.

2nd Avenue Aftermath
Rodizio Grill – Courtesy: Ashlee Hille

Someone (Yes, I know who it was as I watch the news. I’m not giving the culprit the satisfaction of mentioning his name in the blog) had parked an RV filled with explosives in front of the old AT&T building on Second Ave downtown and detonated it.

For more on this story and to see a lot more pics check out the our favorite news channel WKRN News 2

At the end of the year Second street along with some areas along with the path the Tornado took, looked like a war zone. The familiar blue tarps still adorn homes and business. Some of the business that were damaged in the tornadoes have decided not to rebuild or repair.

Due to COVID, many restaurants and bars have closed there doors for good. More are joining them everyday. It’s sad to see so many for sale signs in what was once a thriving part of Nashville.

Downtown after 10pm is eerie. The windows that were once glowing with bright neon lights are now dark. The sound of the Cumberland flowing drowns out the sound of any music that might be playing.

Yes, 2020 is the year that the music died in Nashville.

So yes 2020 was the year from hell. Sadly there is no guarantee this year will be any better. I’m hoping that being able to see the Christmas Star shinning bright on December 21st, for the first time in 800 plus years, was a sign. A sign similar to that of the rainbow after the great flood. Who knows what God is trying to tell us, I hope that it’s a sign that 2021 will be a year of peace and good health.

I just pray that 2021 doesn’t tell 2020 to hold it’s Corona with a lime, sit back and watch this.

In closing I would like to get serious a minute.

Please if you have lost hope, are feeling alone and/or need some one to talk to, reach out for help and remember you are not alone. I understand that we all are going through the same thing, but we are individuals traveling in different vessels so what some can handle others can’t, and that’s alright, that’s what makes us unique.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available. Here are some links and numbers for those who need assistance during this crap.

Till next time stay safe my friends,



Blogger: Joseph Clay

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