2020 may be coming to an end, but the challenges we faced this year continue — the COVID‑19 pandemic, intensifying political division, widening economic inequality, and the climate crisis, just to name a few.
Let’s take a look back at 2020!
Covid-induced economic crisis
Hardly any country has been spared the brunt of the covid pandemic. Over 77 million people worldwide have been infected, and the number of deaths has crossed 1.7 million.
The economic impact of the pandemic will take long to mitigate.
Global stock markets saw their fastest decline in history in February-March, with the worst sessions seeing 12-13% falls.
Overall, this is the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
UK exits EU
Britain formally withrew from the European Union on 11 pm GMT on Jan 31
Australia’s worst natural disaster
Australia is no stranger to summer bushfires, quite nothing compares to the ones in 2019-20 season. With an estimated damage of over $103 billion, this was Australia’s worst ever natural disaster.
Nearly 186,000 sq km area was burnt, and over a billion wild animals killed in the fires that raged since July 2019 to March 2020.
Nearly 25,000 koalas on Kangaroo island, a major wildlife conservatory in South Australia, are believed to have perished.
Black Lives Matter
The anti-racism Black Lives Matter movement has existed in the US since 2013. But the Minneapolis George Floyd incident of May 25 imparted a momentum like never before.
US witnessed more than 4,700 demonstrations, on an average of 140 per day, during the month following the incident.
A huge explosion shook Lebanon’s capital Beirut on August 4, resulting in deaths of over 200 people. Nearly 2,750 tonnes of unsafely stored ammonium nitrate exploded at a storehouse near Beirut port.
Biden trumps Trump
The US presidential election of 2020 will be remembered among other things, for the ugly slugfest between the Republican and Democratic camps.
Now having been voted to power, Biden needs to rebuild a few burnt bridges, and also check Beijing’s growing clout in a multi-polar world.
His announcements of taking US back into WHO and the Paris climate accord are reassuring specially at a time when global bodies are stretched for funds.
UK Royals Give up their Royalty
In January, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision to ‘step back as senior members’ of the British Royal family.
It is fair to say that 2020 has been a year memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Aspirations and hopes for a brand-new decade were put on pause when the world seemed to stop in springtime, but the tail end of the year has promised a better 2021
With the vaccine being rolled out in the UK at the moment I’m cautiously optimistic about 2021, despite all the mis-information swirling around about vaccines possibly affecting uptake.
The vaccine doesn’t mean the end of restrictions and certainly doesn’t mean the end of pandemics with avian flu rearing its ugly head, but it does signal the end of what has been a really difficult year for us all.
It will be a literal lifeline for those living in isolation in their homes or in care, and it means the whole world can breathe a sigh of relief.
If you’re anything like me, then the excitement of travelling again is absolutely the top of the 2021 (hopeful) to-do-list.
The exploration of new places, new cultures, new food is the excitement which gets me through the year, particularly the dark, gloomy winter months.
When travelling, I always try to visit a festival or event in the country I’m in. Doing so allows me to mix with locals and try new things I hadn’t previously considered and overall, gives me wonderful memories and experiences that easily outweighs any material possession.
For me, and I’m sure many others, this year has been continuously non-stop studies-work without the much-needed break of travelling.
A stronger and greater 2021
Let’s see what’s worth carrying forward into 2021.
We learned a multitude of hard lessons in 2020, and we pulled off plenty of clever moves in response.
As much as we’d like to put 2020 behind us, let’s take a moment to pause and consider where some of the silver linings were and see if we can spin them into something stronger and greater in 2021.
Self Introspection is the key to do this!
And on a personal note I would like to end 2020 and start 2021 expressing my gratitude for the frontline workers, teachers and humanitarians who place service to society above all else. We have heroes in our midst and that is something to celebrate!