Imagine celebrating NYE 2019 – planning holidays and making resolutions for the year ahead. How disappointed would you be? Flipping between the COVID19 pandemic and intensifying political (and non-political) division, 2020 seems to have been nothing but constant bleakness. However, it was also a testament of human integrity and respect for one another.
It’s strange to joke about tough times and we should not undermine just how difficult 2020 was – but we also should be able to laugh and move on. Perhaps we should look back at the year with optimism, I think it’s easier to look at it with pessimism.
Nothing starts a new decade like #WW3 trending on Twitter and bush fires devastating Australia (and its wildlife). Donald Trump was (expectedly) acquitted of impeachment charges from 2019’s trial – definitely won’t happen again…
Suddenly, Corona was no longer a beer. Don’t worry, as long as everyone remains diligent and washes their hands to ‘happy birthday’, the virus will leave quicker than the UK does. Indeed, after how many years, the Brexit Transition period began – the final step of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Within a month, we somehow witnessed at least a year’s worth of history and tragedy.
A national lockdown arises. Surely it will only last a maximum of 3 weeks, right? The pandemic will end by summer and we’ll be back in Rock City soon? Well, it’s unfair if we don’t have Jacinda Ardern.
Living as quaran-teens, the pandemic wasn’t the only viral aspect of our lives: TikTok was everywhere. Of course, the app was already around for a while, but increased usage became apparent and suddenly everyone ‘only got this for lockdown’. In fact, its surge in popularity has allowed it to develop from a glowed-up musical.ly into a platform of education and creativity (and Doja Cat).
Various ongoing injustices regarding police brutality towards black people demonstrated the necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement and need for change
Alongside TikTok, we distracted ourselves with Zoom quizzes, baking and Tiger King (talk about the roaring 20s). We returned to those ‘hobbies-we-had-when-we-were-young-that-we-got-back-into-for-like-a-month’. Clapping for Carers also became a highlight – because community spirit is good but proper NHS funding is debatable. It would later make a special reappearance in lockdown pt. III (rebranded as Clapping for Heroes).
Despite this, the climate somewhat thrived from lockdown and reduced carbon emissions; visible skylines and healthier Venice canals were… clear to see.
During this lockdown, various ongoing injustices regarding police brutality towards black people demonstrated the necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement and need for change. Systemic racism (as observed towards unarmed Americans like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and too many others) made the significance of the BLM movement obvious.
Last summer saw a global increase in the number of BLM protests, and society was held accountable for potential racism or performative activism.
Politics and Pfizer
As expected, the virus is still here. Yes, it’s still someone else’s problem. Let’s eat out to help out. While the intentions were good and perhaps necessary for the economy, it certainly didn’t help any of the already–struggling NHS staff.
The start of November was marked by the Presidential election, which would eventually see the Democrats (under Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ leadership) gain control of the Presidency, the House and the Senate. But how did they win? Fraud. Trump actually won the election, and he would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling voters.
On the 12th day of Christmas, the GP and community finally received a vaccine and partial immunity
COVID-19 is still around (happy 1st birthday) and still not the government’s problem; it’s probably those university students (reminder: if you were/are breaking the rules, please don’t). As the Transition period ends and Brexit agreements are negotiated, we enter 2021 with no hopes of winning Eurovision again.
On the 12th day of Christmas, the GP and community finally received a vaccine and partial immunity. Most of us (young and healthy) won’t get it anytime soon, but this achievement signals hope ahead for key workers and the high-risk population. As a volunteer of a vaccine site, there is nothing like witnessing Bill Gates’ global takeover. It was also interesting to see the government suddenly go against Pfizer’s own guidance.
End of Covfefe
Remember that fraudulent US election? As compensation for no second term, Trump has been honoured with second impeachment charges involving inciting insurrection. These involved “very special” protesting and storming of the Capitol (definitely not a riot).
Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the US, with Harris as the VP, in what will certainly be a contrast in the country’s leadership. Bernie also has mittens. Alongside no more Diet Coke button, the main executive policies already signed include: reengaging with the Paris Climate Agreement and easing up on immigration restrictions. Essentially, the US is reversing all of Trump’s efforts.
We have ALL been faced with the uncertain; I like to think it’s made us more resilient and more appreciative
COVID-19 is apparently still around. Will the UK do something now? Maybe. Vaccines are now given to over 70s and there are potential border lockdowns ahead (timely as ever). Given that the UK has administered around 5 million doses already, we should be proud.
So, now what?
Here we are. The present. The now. We somehow survived (I don’t know how) – if nothing else, we should be proud of that.
Despite the knowledge we gained in 2020, nothing will be remembered more than those we lost including celebrities (Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Sean Connery, Ruth Bader Ginsburg) to those closer to home and our hearts. Alongside lives, we have also lost experiences and potential memories. We have ALL been faced with the uncertain; I like to think it’s made us more resilient and more appreciative.
So when we look back at the last year, let’s not just remember the difficult times but celebrate how they brought us together (emotionally not physically hopefully). There will be times ahead where hand sanitizer is not a necessity and social distancing is only an excuse for not socialising. Here’s hoping ‘The Simpsons’ have predicted positivity in 2021.
Featured image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
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