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James Wileman

Acting Deputy Chief Officer, States of Jersey Police

2020: a year of more than 12 months, right? Do I look any older...?

It started in a pub. Perfect company. Live music. Making new friends. Drinks at midnight. Walking home. Laughing. Losing my woolly hat. The most fun night ever. 2020 was going to be a good one - after all, it had to be better than 2018 and 2019...

January – a trip to London. February – Copenhagen. March and April – no days off... May – working from home. June – the same. A new normal had set in because everything had changed.

Like you, I watched in disbelief as it took hold, spreading around the world. I found myself glued to the news so much so that I didn’t want to watch any more.

It’s so hard to watch people losing their lives. It’s just as hard to watch people losing their jobs, their livelihoods and businesses going under. I’m so fortunate to have a secure job and I’m so fortunate to have been paid throughout. I’m so fortunate not to have lost anyone I know to coronavirus.

As an asthmatic, the precautionary pack of medicines I received from the GP was sobering. I haven’t had an attack in 30 years but I was suddenly in a risk category? That made me think... And worry... My daughters have asthma too, but I was already worrying about them, their education and the impact this might have on their future. And then there was the one I love, my family, my friends, those who I work with. I caught myself worrying about everybody.

But as with any crisis it also brought out the best in so many with countless examples of strength, kindness, resilience and innovation. I work with so many great people and I firmly believe that they did Jersey proud.

I am also so proud of my daughters and their approach to home- schooling, the way they wanted to use their exercise time to ride their bikes and the way they kept in touch with friends when they couldn’t be with them.

There are lots more things I didn’t think I’d be doing in 2020: falling in love, moving home, saying “you’re on mute” as much as I have, watching my father grow older by the day, queuing to buy food, eating so many take-aways, wearing a mask, building a website, cancelling a holiday, staycations instead, making so many new friends, learning a new sport...The list goes on...

And so, with a little trepidation, I look forward to 2021. It has to be better than 2018, 2019 and some of 2020, right?

2020: The best and worst year for a number of reasons, but glass half full and still smiling...