What a year 2020 was…I don’t even know where to begin.
First and foremost, the obvious, COVID-19 shook the world in a way that no one had imagined. The world was shattered by the deaths of thousands.
There are still hundreds and thousands of active cases, every day, in many countries of the world. Although the vaccine has been introduced, we are yet to witness its full effectiveness. The vaccine is accessible only to wealthy countries, for now. We do not know when it will be available to the entire world. Let’s hope for the better.
In 2020, many countries implemented lockdown to prevent the spread of the disease. People stayed in quarantine for months. Many lost their jobs and homes. Laborers became homeless. People died. People survived. It was really a horrible, horrible year.
COVID-19 in Nepal
The virus had already begun spreading in China at the beginning of 2020. But other countries, especially in the west, had never imagined that the spread would cause such a global pandemic.
Nepal was one of the countries that were least affected in the beginning days. We’d already heard the news of the virus spreading across the European countries and slowly, it was beginning to spread across Asia and America as well.
We were worried – very much worried. Watching all the news and the information spread across TV and social media, people in Nepal were very confused regarding the impact it would bring upon us.
After the first case was found in the country, everyone was like, “We’re f*cking doomed!!!” We had no hopes. I mean it was kind of understandable. We had seen all the wealthy countries struggling to fight the virus. We are just a small country with a government that was unlikely to be able to do anything at all. It did the best thing imaginable – a countrywide lockdown.
But the lockdown brought out the worst. Yes, it did prevent the virus from spreading, in a way, but it also brought unemployment, depression, deaths by suicide, fear, and a lot more struggle.
Online classes, work from home, virtual meetings, and wearing masks became the so-called “new normal”.
At The End of 2020
Cutting back to today, everything seems normal even though there are still new cases every single day. After a lot of struggles with multiple lockdowns, civil protests, failed-government, rapid cases, deaths, Jatra incidents, etc., we seem to have come back to normal.
Are we really back to normal? Should we be back to normal? Is the COVID-19 over? Was COVID-19 even that what we thought it was?
Well, these questions remain unanswered and honestly, I don’t think we will find the answers to these questions any time soon.
People just want to get on with their lives now. They have faced the lockdown, they have been tested positive, they have recovered, they think they are okay to get back to normal, so they have gotten back to normal. Is that really okay? We don’t know.
The Positive Side of 2020
This year brought a lot of positive changes in people too. In a way, we all learned the true meaning of life. We’ve learned the importance of being together. It taught us the importance of our health. It taught us that money is not everything – that money truly cannot buy happiness and it sure as hell cannot buy you your survival.
A few things we learned from 2020 include;
People had no option but to stay at home during the lockdown. Yes, people were depressed, they were bored, and they were scared. But on the positive side, they also had more time to spend with their loved ones. On normal days, all of us are busy with our work and daily obligations. We rarely have time to spend with our family and loved ones. The lockdown gave us a chance to make that right. So we all had a better understanding of our relationships with others.
Improvements in Nature
The lockdown in different parts of the world has reduced air pollution, usually caused by automobiles and factories. The water resources also became clearer. Wildlife was improved. But, unfortunately, these are likely to be short-lived. Once everything goes back to normal, we might see environmental degradation again, which is sad. But the whole situation did teach us that we are responsible for the damage that has been done to the environment. We must take responsibility and make sure that we preserve it for our future generations to come.
Before the pandemic, I highly doubt that companies, especially those in Nepal, even knew that remote working was possible. As the companies were forced to work from home, they have learned that remote working is in fact a possibility and it can actually be as effective (if not more) as working in the office. People learned that remote working breaks down geographical barriers, reduces rush hour traffics, and allows them work-environment flexibility.
It is quite obvious that people are now more aware of their health, both physical and mental. The pandemic has taught us to take care of our health. Wearing masks have become a necessity. We’ve learned the importance of using hand sanitizers and washing our hands with soap. We now know that we have to stay physically and mentally fit. Because of it, physical exercise, meditation, and yoga practices have become popular these days.
Creativity and Innovation
During the lockdown, many people utilized their time to become more creative. Some made videos, some learned new skills (like cooking, painting, dancing, photography, etc.), some worked on their passion projects, and some started a new business. Since people had a lot of time to spend, it was a good thing that they utilized it to tap into their creative side.
What Next in 2021?
People obviously want good for themselves. A few also want good for others. It is natural for us to be optimistic. The year 2021 will be of new hopes and dreams for many of us. For now, we want to forget 2020 and wipe it out of our lives completely. We cannot wait for it to end sooner.
Instead of forgetting 2020 completely (which we obviously cannot do), we have to take it as a lesson – a big one. It taught us many things about health, relationships, environment, work, technology, so on and so forth. I’m sure each one of us learned something from 2020, whether it is a good thing or a bad one. It is time to reflect back on the year and identify what it taught us.
Let 2021 be the beginning of the life you want to live. Let it be the year you achieve your dreams. Work hard, dream big, believe in yourself, and stay persistent. Don’t let the hopes down.
Together, we can create a new and better world. Let 2021 be the beginning of it.
Oh, and, happy new year!