The World has rarely, if ever, reached unanimous consensus on anything. But most would agree 2020 was a shitty year. We stayed away from friends, worked from home (some among toddlers and kids with a complete disregard for Covid protocols), and questioned our personal hygiene in a manner unprecedented in our lifetimes. I washed and sanitised my hands so much my outer skin is now replaced with a permanent layer of palm oil, and my fingers have checked into AA. And having felt the smell of my own breath, I apologise to anyone who ventured within 6 feet of my unmasked face.
2020 has been a difficult year financially. Economies around the world are in the toilet, and unless you’re a tech-entrepreneur like that Zoom guy who waited his whole life for this pandemic, or Elon Musk, it is likely your personal finances too took a dump. However, amidst the uncertainties and seemingly endless stream of bad news, I remain hopeful for our future. My optimism stems not despite the pandemic, but rather because of it, for history has proven that times of adversity gives rise to increased and extended periods of prosperity, because the people who live through difficult times come out the other end stronger, smarter, and more importantly; united towards the common cause of making this world a much better place.
The Spanish Flu of 1918 preceded the Roaring Twenties — a decade of economic growth and widespread prosperity, and the new world order which took millions out of poverty across the world and led to the digital revolution, came on the heels of a devastating World War. And this time it’s even better, for our ancestors overcame their challenges with far less knowledge and resources than we have today. It took well over 20 years to develop a vaccine for Polio; we developed one for Covid-19 in less than 10 months. And living through this pandemic not only improved our personal hygiene, it also made us more resourceful and resilient. Driven by an urgent and immediate need, we adopted new technologies in a matter of days, which otherwise would have taken months and years. At this pace, we may well find a cure for cancer in 2021, or colonise mars by the end of the decade — we already know how to ration our food and live in bubbles.
There is much work to be done before we rid ourselves of Covid-19, but we have much more to look forward to in its wake. And stepping into 2021, I hope you stay hopeful and optimistic, because a virus only wins, if it also kills our spirits.
Here’s to a Happy and Hopeful 2021!