What to expect in 2021

2020 has been the most difficult year in the history of the world. It can be described as a horror film when the world not only witnessed a full blown pandemic but also natural disasters caused by climate changes. The pandemic was due to transmission of the virus from animal to human. The virus is now mutating and becoming more deadly than the original one.

On the other hand many parts of the world suffered from extreme climate changes. From the wildfire in the west coast of the US to a rise in the intensity of Atlantic storms to floodings in different continents, it has been terrifying. Unfortunately climate change cannot be cured or vaccinated like a disease.

Scientists claim that these events aren’t accidental. Deforestation and increase in levels of planet-heating gases are among the causes of the extreme climate changes. This is just a taste of more things to come. How then can we make things better? Of course we can’t 100% stop the challenges nature throws at us but we can reduce the negative effects of our actions.

Though the pandemic has caused a lot of deaths and economic slow down, it has also taught us many things. Before, many people were so much busy with their lives especially due to their demanding professions, that it became almost impossible to give time for other things in life. People have been forced to rethink about what’s important, the values of family, real friendship, taking one’s health and the environment seriously.

Jack Ma had said “For people in business, 2020 is really just a year for staying alive. Don’t even talk about your dreams or plans. Just make sure you stay alive. If you can stay alive, then you would have made a profit already.”

If you are reading this it means you have survived the year. However this doesn’t make life easier. There would still be struggles at every level; personally, professionally, economically and globally. Researchers are predicting that the coronavirus would be with us for a long time.

β€œThe future will very much depend on how much social mixing resumes, and what kind of prevention we do,” says Joseph Wu, a disease modeller at the University of Hong Kong.

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This means that it is an individual decision of how to handle the current situation that would determine its effect. Although this also depends on how much effective the lockdowns are in different countries. Governments need to carefully monitor the rates of infection in their country and plan accordingly. Countries such as China and New Zealand have seen a reduction of cases after a considerable length of lockdown. However other places such as United States and Europe have experienced rapid rise of cases because of early lifting of the lockdowns.

A Maltese proverb states that “The one who has had no experience of evil cannot know the worth of what is good.”

So from our experiences in 2020 we now realize, more than ever that there’s nothing more important than health and life. There are many things we can still do to make life easier for ourselves.

We can make plans of what we want to achieve this year. Many people, both adults and children are stuck at home. And many of them have found ways to engage themselves. Through online classes people are learning different things such as playing musical instruments, languages and watching virtual tours of museums for free.

For instance, the Otago University Students’ Association in New Zealand created a web page to engage the students in a variety of activities such as backyard exercise and games.

Here is a video showing productive things you can do under lockdown.

Although we can’t expect an overnight change or a miracle, we can try to be optimistic. Yes we have lost a lot in the past year. Many of us have lost our loved ones and jobs but as long as there’s life, there’s hope. We still have to forge ahead, be optimistic and thrive in this difficult time.

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