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2020 What a Year That Was

What can we say about the year 2020? It will go down in history as a year of unprecedented challenges due to the Pandemic.

How 2020 reshaped our values

This year will stand out in history as a unique year. A year which saw people lose their jobs, struggle for a living, people unable to return home to their families, frontline workers persevering to help the people stay safe from the virus, all activities like office work, learning, culinary, fitness getting shifted to homes, no vacations, no celebrations and this never-ending battle against the coronavirus. This has put a lot of pressure on us and changed our perspective and made us rethink our values. It has been a tough year, but we did not lose hope. We struggled but helped each other, stayed connected, and shared information. A new clan of superheroes emerged, the frontline workers, covid warriors as they were called who struggled day and night to save people braving all odds and fighting against the virus. without giving a thought to their own or their family’s health and wellbeing. So let us see the highlights of this year:

Stay Home, Be Safe

Stay Home, Be Safe

Year of DIY

This year will go down in history as the year we learned to do everything from haircuts to home improvements. The DIY videos became a hit. Food took up a prime place this year. From banana bread to gourmet dishes we became experts and spent hours in the kitchen experimenting and excelling in food varieties. And then we were trying to burn all those calories working out. Gym equipment found a prime spot at home. Whether it was exercise, yoga and meditation, breathing exercises, we went about it with enthusiasm.

Masks as Fashion Accessories

Masks as Fashion Accessories

WIFI became Lifeline

As Work from home became the new normal, WIFI became a necessity. Routers became precious. Technology became the savior. Work-life continued uninterrupted largely due to advanced technology and could minimize the blow to the global economy. Between the children’s Online classes and office work, parents juggled to maintain a stable work-life balance. The online classes became both a blessing and a bane. While it was good to be part of the children’s learning, managing the time became difficult. But we managed and ensured that the children’s learning was not affected. Meanwhile, fashion trends changed to comfy clothes, tracksuits, pajamas, house robes as we worked from home. We ditched makeup and flaunted a natural look.

Home Workouts and Diets

With no access to regular gyms, we sweated out at homes with the help of online apps, videos, and zoom training sessions. Health and fitness became the new buzz words. Grandma's recipes for boosting immunity like spice tea, turmeric tea, and other herbal teas were much sought after. Restaurants reinvented menus with healthy cocktails, vitamins laden salads, etc. Functional foods became the in thing in favored cuisines. Intuitive eating and intermittent fasting were the most favored trend in the diet category. As restaurants were closed due to lockdowns, cooking at home became a regular activity. It was an opportunity to try out new recipes and choose healthy food.

Virtual Bonanza

Everything from birthday parties to engagements and weddings went virtual. The fact that we could not get together to celebrate did not deter us. We celebrated everything online. Zoom ensured that human contact was preserved. While in chat boxes, emojis became the medium of expression. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and such new-age technologies changed the way businesses operated. Musical events, award shows, plays went from live to live-streamed. Various movies and series platforms like Netflix, Amazon helped people to spend quality time watching their favorite movies and shows to beat the stress of the pandemic and isolation due to lockdowns. They could also keep themselves updated with the latest news and happenings in the world.

Culture of Innovation

This year many young people came forward with innovative ideas with the help of technologies to beat the pandemic. This year will go down in history not only as a year of the virus and the pandemic but a year of maximum innovations and digitization in fields ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. New startups have come up with much needed innovative solutions during these times of uncertainty and ambiguity. We realized the importance of innovation and the need to encourage youngsters in reforming the world with their new ideas and inventions. The health issues brought on due to the covid 19 have inspired innovations in many fields including medical devices, new drugs, health care processes, and also manufacturing and supply chains.

Simplicity and Sustainability

We opted for simple living and donated a lot of stuff. Living with fewer things can help us focus on what is important. Minimalistic living helps the mind to stay calm and focused, improves cognitive and creative abilities, and be more productive. Being stuck indoors, rekindled our love for the outdoors. Jogging, cycling, trekking, camping was met with new energy. Weddings and other celebrations were downgraded into at home or micro affairs thereby saving unnecessary expenses. Sustainability became the buzzword with recycled clothing, plant-based foods, and natural beauty products trending. Travel plans were replaced by staycations and workcations.

Technology as Savior

Everything from eating, playing, learning was transformed by technology. We embraced technology seamlessly. It became an important part of our life. Students continued their education without a break in learning with the help of online classes, webinars, and other interactive virtual sessions. Technology has helped in spreading awareness, sharing important information about the pandemic, and also relief from the loneliness of isolation. Professionals augmented their knowledge through online courses using the spare time available as a result of working from home. Online stores addressed the massive increase in online purchases with the help of artificial intelligence and machine intelligence. The role of technology in healthcare has been immense. From testing the people for the virus to analyzing the spread of the infection and contain the virus, technology has played an important role.

Wash Hands as often as Possible

Wash Hands as often as Possible

Hygiene for Health

Hygiene became crucial for survival. Masks, Sanitizers, and washing of hands became our constant companions. Masks became fashion accessories after they were made mandatory. A boost in the sanitizer and cleaning products market is proof that people realized the importance of practicing hygiene. We followed the protocols set by the authorities for our safety and wellbeing stringently. Following the new hygiene habits is the only proven preventive measure against the coronavirus. It was essential to teach children the basics of hygienic habits and why it is important. It was especially tough with the little ones to wear masks for extended periods of time, wash hands regularly, and not touch their faces. . Social distancing became imperative. Hugs and handshakes were taboo.

Newer ways to beat Stress

We came up with new ideas to beat the stress the pandemic had wrought on us. Some took to journaling, while others to music, art, martial arts, and so on. We turned to board games, online games to cope with the stress. Gardening became our stress buster and we grew our own herbs, veggies, and flowers in our backyards, balconies, and terrace gardens. We learned composting at home for use in our gardens and never wasted vegetable peels, dried flowers and leaves, and all things biodegradable. We even took to knitting, crocheting, weaving, and patchworking to relieve the stress. We lost all track of time as weekends merged into weekdays, Sundays got blurred and we started asking each other what day is it. . A rise in adoption and fostering of pets was seen as people sought the company of their furry friends to beat isolation. Experts suggest it to be an alternate form of therapy and a memory booster

Never Lose Hope

Never Lose Hope

Fragility and uncertainty of Life

As news poured in of people succumbing to the virus irrespective of age, status, class, and creed, we realized the fragility of life. All the advancements that we have achieved in science, medicine, technology, and the organization have proved to be inadequate in the face of this crisis. We have also seen global solidarity where different countries came together to solve the riddle of this pandemic. Countries worked together to share information and research on steps to contain the virus and to find an effective vaccine. The pandemic has also strengthened the sense of empathy and humanity that was hidden hitherto due to the materialistic tendencies. We helped each other out in this fight for a common cause.

Covid Warriors

Covid Warriors

Frontline Warriors

These brave hearts risked their own lives to save others. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, community workers tended to the sick tirelessly. As many of us were locked at home and stay, they continued to work grueling hours, separated from their own families, following exhausting protocols, sweating out in PPE suits and masks for long hours. These are the people who deserve our gratitude and have to be celebrated. Many stories of kindness surfaced as people went out of their way to help the elderly and others in distress. We expressed our genuine heartfelt gratitude to these superheroes by people clapping and applauding from their terraces and balconies, lighting lamps and candles on designated days. Businesses offered them free meals and accommodations. Some countries have offered recompense pay or hero pay, hazard pay, and so on. These frontline workers have been the defenders of our safety and well-being and deserve our gratefulness and full support and cooperation.

Express Gratitude

Express Gratitude

Gratitude

Many survived or healed from the onslaught of the virus but many could not make it. As news poured in, of people closer home who had passed, the shock and grief hit us hard. We felt lucky to be spared. We learned to live with humility and gratitude. We realized how interdependent we were on each other and how universal connectedness helped us minimize the onslaught of the pandemic. We expressed gratitude to the frontline workers by means of letters, cards, even gifts. Giving to the needy, to children in shelter homes, feeding the homeless, even strays are the new covid inspired traditions being followed by the people were the highlights this festive season. This new year let us pledge to help each other, share resources, help improve the lives of people around us, thank the covid warriors, help the needy, and endorse the values of love, sharing, and caring.

Never lost Hope

We had faced many adversities and overcame them in the past. But the devastation of this scale was neither expected nor foreseen. The large-scale research all over the world to find a vaccine is proof of man’s will to survive despite all odds. But we did not lose hope. This period has been a test for humanity. But we are confident that we will find a way through all this and evolve to be more determined and stronger. It has made us reflect on the values of life. This year will go down in history as the most extraordinary year mankind has ever seen. We used the time we got to reconnect and strengthen ties with our families, renewed our ties with old friends. The pandemic has made us value family and friends more. We invested ourselves in learning new things, developing new hobbies and did not let the stress get to us. Hope for a better tomorrow gave us the courage to go on despite the anguish surrounding us.

In Conclusion

The battle against the virus seems to be never-ending. An important lesson that we have learned in this pandemic is that we need to look out for each other, no matter what. We have realized the value of life and to learned to live each day in gratitude in this environment of fear and anxiety. We are about to usher in another year, hoping and praying that the new year will bring good tidings and end the nightmare of the year that was. So, let us ring in the new year with gratitude to the heroes, the healthcare workers, teachers, food and grocery delivery personnel, pharmacy employees, and many more who have fearlessly played their role of serving humanity in times of need and helped us survive. This New year is all about spreading love, being hopeful, and celebrating the little joys in life.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 VIDYA D SAGAR

Comments

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on December 31, 2020:

Thanks, Brenda for the visit and the nice comments. The vaccine has brought hope this year. Let us pray that it is effective in ridding us of this virus, that has caused so much devastation to so many. Now that we have got used to the safety standards like masks and washing hands, it is better we make a permanent habit of it. The pandemic has sure taught us the value of life and relationships. Let us cherish our family and spend more time with them. Have a wonderful New Year, my friend. Take care and stay safe.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 31, 2020:

You got it right! This year, 2020 has been a year like no other that I can remember.

I am hoping 2021 will be better & we can rid this virus goodbye with the new vaccine.

Masks seem to be part of our everyday life now.

I can only hope that as we leave this era of devastation & heartbreak we carry some of the closeness we have learned with us.

The true meaning of family & having values.

Thank you for sharing a fantastic article.

Take care.

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on December 31, 2020:

Thank you Flourish for the visit and your kind comments. It is an important lesson that we have learned in this year of the pandemic. We need to support and be there for each other and also appreciate the good work done by the frontline workers. It is their selfless work that eased the crisis due to the pandemic to a great extent and held the world and economy together.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 31, 2020:

Frontline workers derserve so much credit, not just the doctors and nurses but also the janitors and cashiers, the delivery drivers and stock clerks, the cooks, police, veterinarians, farmers, and many people who previously received little attention as heroes. Unglamorous jobs some of them but every one of us has a role in making this world and economy work well together. Hopefully we have learned a little appreciation for one another.

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on December 31, 2020:

Hi Pamela, thanks for the visit and the comments. Thank god a vaccine has been found. Hope it is successful. Happy New Year!

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on December 31, 2020:

Hi John, I appreciate your visit and nice comments. This year has made us all reflect on the value of life. But we have come out stronger and more resilient. Happy New Year!

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on December 31, 2020:

Thanks, Liza for the visit and the nice comments. The Frontline Warriors have done a great job and the real superheroes of this year. Happy New Year!

VIDYA D SAGAR (author) on December 31, 2020:

Thanks, Alicia for the visit and the comments. It has been a very trying year and hope that the New Year brings in good tidings and the vaccine is a success. Happy New Year to you all!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 30, 2020:

Thank you for sharing so many important facts about this year. It's been a difficult time for many people. I hope the vaccines are helpful and the upcoming year is better.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 30, 2020:

I am so glad we have a vaccine for this awful virus. I think you covered so many things that changed for us last year. I did help us focus on what is important. I sure hope 2021 is a better year.

Happy New Year, Vidya!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 30, 2020:

This is a wonderful article, Vidya. I think you have covered it all. 2020 has been a year like no other, and we were forced to take stock of our lives and learn and reinvent many ways of doing things. I am sure we will come through as better, more capable human beings.

Liza from USA on December 30, 2020:

Personally, 2020 is a year of health and mental challenges. Thank goodness I manage to handle and sustain the unpredictable situation. I wish all the best for all people who are volunteering and helping people survived the pandemic. I hope next year will be brighter for us all. Thanks for sharing your awe-inspiring writing!