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Why 2020 is my new benchmark for life and happiness

Forced to be alone, the last year renewed appreciation for the things we have

Few people are seen at a normally busy commuter hub during rush hour in Washington on Mar. 16, 2020.   © NurPhoto/Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- It is 9:30 p.m. and all four of us are lying in bed, each with a phone playing games or watching TikTok. For one moment, I lifted my head and looked around, suddenly realizing how 2020 has so thoroughly changed our lives.

Before the pandemic, or even in the early months of the COVID-19 lockdown, my two kids would have been in bed at 9 p.m. after we read some books together. Then, I would usually do some reading of my own or finish off some work. In our home, screen time was limited to an hour a day and was not allowed at night.

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