Looking back on 2020, there will be the standout moments: where you were when you realized the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic; when you found out that the shutdown was coming to your town, your city; for millions of Americans, the moment you lost your job; for millions more, when you found out that a parent or loved one had gotten sick or died from the disease; for nearly everyone, the moment you found out you’d lost a friend or treasured icon. It was a series of emotional moments because everything else was the same — stuck in our homes, it became hard to differentiate between days, weeks, months. It was only the moments that stood out.
So as we impatiently look forward to the 306th day of March, on December 31st, instead of looking back on the overwhelming sadness, we’re revisiting the small moments that brought us a smile. This was as much an exercise for the staff of Rolling Stone as it was a service to our readers, forcing ourselves to reflect on what brought us joy when so much of what we covered was shuttering venues and dying stars. For many, it was a particular meal — like the time an editor ordered unshucked oysters to her house as a treat — or a day spent with family. There was only one rule: No schadenfreude — this was not a place to embrace the pleasure we got from watching others in pain, no matter how ironic that pain might seem. This was a place for pure joy, fleeting moments that helped get us through this awful year. Here’s to finding the best in 2021, too, no matter what fresh hell that brings.