That Year We Don’t Want To But Should Remember: A 2020 Planner

By Roma Estrada

Twenty-twenty is a worst year, that much most of us can agree on, especially for planner freaks. With all those schedules cancelled or moved until further notice, that 2020 planner we bought back when we still had guts to say “bring it on” had probably remained a white void or just plain sheets of erasures. 

I usually buy two planners each year, a weekly planner for personal use and a monthly planner for work. In 2020, I still used my weekly planner to keep track of events. My monthly planner remained empty until work began in October. 

A year into the quarantine and we’ve inched only a little, if at all, toward getting back on our feet. The virus has mutated, even earning us our own variant, and we’re still into face shields and curfews. How did we get here? Or should we ask instead, why are we still here? 

In case you’re contemplating too about the same questions, this 2020 planner is for you. This is a planner for the unplanned, this is a planner for the past, which isn’t even a “past” yet because it has managed to extend itself for we don’t know how long. 

In this planner are major events about the government’s pandemic response. Alongside are many cases of abuse, harassments, arrests, massacres, and other forms of state repression against activists and marginalized people. Importantly, it is also a record of major mobilizations calling for a pro-people pandemic response, an end to all forms of state repression, and the needed economic and political reforms. 

This planner begins March 2020 and ends in March 2021. First, I had to migrate notes from the personal planner to the monthly one. For the used portions of the latter, I had to cover them with photocopied blank sheets and alter the dates to fit the remaining months. Upon cross-checking with other sources (which took most time in the process), I noticed that I missed a few events and even misplaced some dates. I surely must have missed some more. 

Some months are less hectic than others. A lot is happening each day, certainly, but to highlight the major events per month, I opted to leave other dates blank. You can fill this out yourself, should you want to have a copy or simply make your own. Initially a personal project, this can turn into a zine which can be collaborated on, reproduced, and distributed depending on how it turns out. 

Why do we have to remember things we would rather forget? Because they can be used against us. In this age of attention economy, vicious corporate media framing, memory digitization, and brazen historical distortion, we become much more responsible for what and how we remember.

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