Change for a New Year

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

By Meg Walburn Viviano, Editorial Director

Has the turn of a new year ever been met with more enthusiasm than the one from 2020 to 2021? 

Sure, every year we bid good riddance to the year past and make clichéd proclamations like, “Out with the old, in with the new.” But this year, those sayings carry real weight. We just spent the majority of our year living in uncertainty: uncertainty over what’s safe, uncertainty over job security and our children’s educations, uncertainty over what will be open today, tomorrow, or the next day. We spent the year going against human nature to distance ourselves from others, in many cases separating from beloved family members. 

This bizarre set of circumstances took its toll, even for those who made the best of things by embracing a simpler home life. It’s easy to get into a rut when you spend virtually every day at home, with no travel or big events to look ahead to. The CBM Bay Weekly staff has been working remotely since the start of the pandemic, and while we work just as hard from home, there have been a lot of comfy pants during the workday and glasses of wine at day’s end. 

My 5-year-old looked at me earlier this week and observed, “Mommies only wear pants with strings.” Apparently, drawstring sweatpants are the most formal attire he’s seen me wear in awhile. 

That’s why 2021 is so welcome: it’s a chance for a fresh start after a less-than-desirable year that has put some people, including this editorial director, into a slump. New Year’s is like a free pass to CHANGE without anybody questioning you about it. Some people renew their exercise efforts, dive back into healthy eating or take on an alcohol-free Dry January. As for me, I resolve to put on pants with a zipper and a button from time to time.  

In this week’s Bay Weekly issue, however, we are looking at meaningful change on a larger scale. We’re covering the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s disappointing 2020 Bay health report card (, which finds the Bay’s last grade of D-plus has dropped even lower—and the struggling rockfish population is a big reason. CBF is calling for change to turn around the downward trend for our prized waterway. 

In our feature story ( we’re looking at art inspired by social justice change and art that may even inspire change itself. A fashion designer and a former NFL player are among the artists at the center of a new exhibition debuting during Maryland Hall’s long-awaited reopening.  

Even our gardening columnist is urging home gardeners to change out what they’re planting and make room for vegetables—a poignant message as we leave behind a year in which food availability was another one of our uncertainties. 

Yes, at Bay Weekly we’re happily greeting 2021 with open arms, and we’re also opening our hearts and minds to change. I hope you’ll join us.