Wyvern Writers - Senior Airman Davani Council

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

The year 2020 has been full of heartbreaks and shocking changes worldwide. From the civil unrest in the U.S to the life threatening cold-like symptoms, everyone has been struggling to keep up and to adapt.

2020 was a humbling year that truly forced us to look at the bigger picture. Specifically, the emergence of COVID-19 has affected many lives and wellbeings.

My solution to all of these events was to self-reflect and self-educate myself. I spent time learning more about civil injustice and felt comfort in understanding more than what’s on the surface. I went to financial counselors to learn more about investing, and how to prepare financially for a government shutdown. Diving into my hobbies, working out, and talking to family keeps my spirits up. When we are stripped from our everyday routine, it disrupts our flow and it can be frustrating. However learning new skills, picking up new hobbies, and keeping in touch with friends builds resilience.

The U.S. is no stranger to discrimination of race, sexual orientation, or religion; however the year 2020 sparked an uprising of motivated Americans of all complexions looking for fair treatment to African Americans. Protests and riots overtook America in efforts for justice for all African Americans mishandled by authorities and killed unjustly. Watching the news from Aviano away from the states, I was in shock. I was worried about my family and friends living stateside amongst the uprisings.

During times like this I felt helpless and needed to find a way to be involved. My path in making a difference was signing petitions for unjust cases against African American lives. Additionally I tried to learn more about where systemic racism stems from, and how it translates to today’s everyday life. What helped during this occurrence was the Air Force’s stance to raise awareness of discrimination. Aviano’s diversity day allowed all 31st Fighter Wing members a chance to understand perspectives other than our own. After leaving I had a better outlook on their views and how they were affected. The 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Martin Luther King, Jr. run also helped me, and I felt the support of my co-workers in that time of uncertainty. Knowing the Air Force and my co-workers stand for fair and equal treatment reassured me that I was a part of a team.

Covid-19 was an unexpected rain check in everyone’s plans and lives. Businesses cut hours, fired workers, or even shut down altogether. This put the world in financial strife, as no one foresaw its occurrence. Countless families and friends died from the virus, or were hospitalized as a result of COVID-19. Even today we live on with this disease, waiting for a cure. Reports of its effects and lack of a cure only caused me to worry more about something I could not control.

Italy’s measures to reduce cases may be restricting, but I know that they are necessary. However I cannot help but feel homesick and miss traveling with my friends. Spending time at home after work and on the weekends was tough to adapt to; I never realized how much I enjoyed being outside and having daily interactions with people. To compensate for all the hobbies I lost, I sought after more or adapted. I started working out from home, and playing video games online with friends. Also I called my family and friends often to keep in touch. This was the most important thing I did to cope with the changes. Hearing from them kept my spirits up and kept me focused on things I had power over. How could I improve upon myself? Am I working towards my short and long term goals? Do I need to adjust my goals, or create new ones? These are the questions my family tasked me to answer for myself.

When things began changing significantly, Aviano held Facebook live meetings. These meetings gave Covid updates, and allowed us to be informed on what was going on. This helped me ease into the transition that was beginning to take place. Aviano has done well taking measures in ensuring our mental and physical well-being in the year 2020; from spreading the new decrees to organizing events to keep us involved and fellowshipping.

The way to finding victory in 2021 is being informed, interacting with loved ones, and learning more about yourself. Take the time you gained from the restrictions and use it to develop yourself or your mindset further. That is my solution to being resilient in 2020 and into the upcoming New Year.