Most people look forward to the new year, as it represents the chance for a new beginning, a reset. But, this has been a time when people couldn’t wait to see the back of a year; ironically, it was the year of forward-looking–2020. For many, this may be the one year that people wanted to have nothing to do with. We’ll have to check in over time with children born in 2020. It was truly a year of drama, much natural and much political.
Remember, wildfires in Australia, from autumn of 2019, were still raging at start of 2020:
Fittingly, ‘climate change’ was high on the agenda at the start of 2020, and Greta Thunburg was schooling ‘leaders’ at Davos, when they weren’t chilling on the slopes:
President Trump’s impeachment had begun in late-2019 and he was acquitted in February 2020, with Senate voting on party lines.
The UK was getting a head of steam up to leave the European Union, and the Brexit transition period began after January 31, 2020, and was due to last 11 months:
The Royal family, not free from controversy for many years, had more plates spinning and head turning when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they’d be stepping back as senior members of the Royal family..aka ‘Megxit’:
In China, word spread of a viral infection in Wuhan province. It started with early denials, then clarity about the threat, then announcment of global pandemic, the early panic buying, and the start of lockdowns world-wide. A year on, and the fight is engaged to determine the real origin of what we now know as COVID-19:
In the UK, PM Boris Johnson stressed washing hands, then immediately confused all by claiming to have shaken every hand of COVID patients at a hospital. He then tested positive, himself, and had to be hospitalised. It was the first of many missteps in the UK’s handling (no pun) of the pandemic, and buffoonery just doesn’t work well when dealing with crises:
In the USA, President Trump–often mistaken for Johnson’s older brother–similarly, downplayed the risks from COVID, saying “It’s going to disappear”, and repeating it at least 38 times during the year.
Trump later suggested using disinfectant inside the body. Absurd?
Spoofed by Sarah Cooper, whose interpretation removed the need to ask if it was absurd:
After months of downplaying the need for masks and real ‘social distancing’, President Trump contracted COVID in October, and was also hospitalised and given a special cocktail of experimental drugs to help his recovery.
The actions of these two national leaders and their personal consequences say everything about how poorly they have done the job the so desperately wanted. Their countries are now spinning out of control regarding management of the pandemic–England escalating its restrictions, and the USA seeing record numbers of deaths, active cases, and hospitalization. The vaccine may be here, but it’s going to be hard for it to turn around the runway truck of health mis-handling in the UK and USA.
I’ll bypass the US presidential elections, holding my breath that the normally mundane transition will occur as scheduled, despite many seemingly crazy attempt to overturn the democratic results.
So, we passed through 2020.
Celebrations to welcome 2021 were muted around the world:
In Scotland, a drone was used to help the celebrations–New Year is usually a major festivity, there.
In Jamaica, Christmas and New Year have been marked by almost no major public celebrations, though I heard fireworks last night. Curfews were tightened for Christmas Day/Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (to 7pm-5am, not 10pm-5pm). The government extending its ban on travel from the UK till end-January; though Jamaicans who’ve been in the UK, recently, and travel to Jamaica via another country will be tested on arrival and quarantined in State facilities, pending results, and if negative, will be allowed to leave and the complete the subsequent 14-day quarantine.
Welcome, 2021! 🙂