Year Ender Note: Be glad if you have SURVIVED 2020!

Be glad if you have SURVIVED 2020! The year that changed the course of modern history.

As T.S. Eliot, had said, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language,

And next year’s words await another voice.” 

We all are waiting for something magical to happen in the New Year and most probably it is about the covid vaccine that could bring lives back to a new normal.

The year 2020 has been so disastrous and so terrible that the beginning of the new year will automatically mean entering a wonderful year!

Being a student of history there are a number of world events that can be counted on fingertips, to which many around the world would undoubtedly agree that they changed the world. 

The world witnessed the great wars, the great depression, the holocaust, the partition of the subcontinent, the fall of the wall of Berlin, the collapse of the USSR, the events which resulted in deaths and misery and affected people of certain areas at a certain time.

However, there have been reported accounts of pandemics as well.

Among those, the most well recorded in history is the Spanish flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, which was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 influenza A virus.

The 1918 influenza pandemic lasted from February 1918 to April 1920, it infected 500 million people. It affected about a third of the world’s population at the time, said to be in four successive waves.

But it was the COVID-19 that has changed the course of modern history affecting billions across the world at the same time. The world saw a standstill from Manhattan to Sydney. Every country across the globe had to go under complete or partial lockdowns, isolations, and quarantine.

The virus that originated in Wuhan, China last year in December was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization. The outbreak has spread to at least 155 countries and territories around the world. And by December 26, 2020, Novel coronavirus has infected over 80.1 million people globally and claimed over 1.7 million lives.

Though the year 2020 has been unprecedentedly difficult for everyone all around the world it has also thought some great lessons. This year made us realized how dependent we were on the people or services around us and how casually we took them for granted.

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Many of us were left without house help, work from home became a regular thing, dining out was something out of the question. Humans, the social creatures, rely on each other to protect their emotional health were left on their own for months without any social contact with the outside world. Many regular travelers have not traveled in almost a year. Concepts like social distancing, wearing face masks when stepping out, and sanitizing and washing hands frequently, have become a norm.

Mankind has survived and thrived for billions of years on the planet knows very well to adopt, and we do see the change coming to the lifestyles. None of us thought that in 2020  the pandemic will teach us the importance of staying connected with others in a new way and help each other out in tense times.

Coming back to the point that be glad if you have survived the year 2020 and you would be sharing stories of what you experienced in the year to the future generations.

From Karachi, a friend shared he was able to look through the clear skies of the metropolis for the time in his life and captured the moment in camera sometime in March 2020.

The images were captured from Karachi University and the places almost 21 km away could be seen from the rooftop. Why? because the lockdown reduced the pollution in the air and the skyline was crystal clear during the daytime not just in Karachi but at many places worldwide.

Mother nature had a chance to revive back and gain strength what we humans had been neglecting for decades. The hope is that the pandemic will also result in change by sparking a shift in the way we think about wellness.

Though we all have experienced irreplaceable losses in various forms, health, wealth, businesses, relationships, jobs. But the main lesson learned is our lives will now remain fundamentally altered permanently.

I haven’t stepped outside of the home since March, other than for groceries and managing work from home to earn a living, relying on social networking for helping out others, and indulging in online life like a hermit waiting for some solution to arrive for us all in this COVID pandemic.

But I am glad that I have survived this year 2020 and adopted a new way of life. I have realized the secret of the survival of mankind is adopting to its present circumstances and not associating the material needs. Staying home was the main concern for the year 2020 and for the safety of the loved ones.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language…And next year’s words await another voice.”

Hope to see you all in a better 2021. Ameen!

Saman Siddiqui

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