“At half-past seven the district sheriff of East Gausdal came up to the cottage with two Germans.”
So begins From Day to Day, which Odd Nansen, in his usual self-deprecating way, describes thusly in his Foreword: “This book is a diary and makes no claim to be anything else.”
The above opening lines were penned 79 years ago tonight, in a single cell in the Lillehammer county jail, marking Odd Nansen’s arrest and the start of his fateful 40-month journey through Nazi concentration camps.
What more appropriate time to provide a report to my subscribers on all that happened this past year.
COVID is what happened this past year. And that threw everyone’s plans for 2020, mine included, into a cocked hat. It was difficult to make any plans as the pandemic unfolded, and scheduling, rescheduling, delays and uncertainty were the order of the day, dominating everyone’s thinking. For five months, stretching from February to July, I lived in a state of suspended animation. Would the pandemic abate? Was it better to wait things out? And how exactly did Zoom work?
The new year has brought some clarity: Yes, Zoom works just fine—millions now use it (and other technologies) like they were born to it. A vaccine is on the way. And yet uncertainty still persists. When will herd immunity be achieved? When will life return to “normal”?
Looking back, I can see that 2020 represented progress, just not as much progress as I had envisioned a year ago at this time. Here are some the 2020 vital stats:
19 presentations (all but 4 virtual)
36 blogs posted
1770 event attendees
4580 website visitors
$1,996.02. Last year’s share of royalties and speaking fees distributed to each of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and HL Senteret, the Norwegian Center for Holocaust and Minority Studies
$19,296.32. Combined to-date distributions of royalties and speaking fees to the above two organizations
Notwithstanding the uncertainty mentioned above, 2021 promises to be an improvement over last year. Already, two weeks into the new year, I have 19 presentations scheduled, with the prospect for more opportunities on the horizon. And plenty more blog topics beckon.
So I am optimistic for 2021, and hope you are too. Here’s wishing you all the best for a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!