What a year! There will be nothing new exposed here as I am aware that anyone reading it will have experienced it all, all-be-it in your own way. I write purely to reflect and record, as despite the significant impact the year has had, I know the memories will fade. Reading back through the very few previous posts I actually published this year is already reminding me of the power of recording thoughts and events.
So, 2020 a year of:
Changing plans All aspects of our lives were thrown into chaos. I went from travelling around Victoria to being limited to 5km from home. Plans to visit Turkey and Greece dissolved into dreams as we protected ourselves and others by staying home and staying safe.
Adapting Work and social life adapted to online interactions. Imagine having close family within 20 minutes drive that you don’t see in person for months at a time? Imagine spending more of the working year working from home than going to a workplace? It was inconceivable a year ago, but the reality of 2020. The local streets of our neighbourhood were explored in away that not happened in the previous 30 years. Wearing a face mask became an expected standard.
Unfinished blog posts Moments of inspiration to write became moments of indecision – why would I write about ‘that’ topic when the world around me was in such a strange state?
Uncertainty Daily updates on the health of our nation were suddenly part of a routine. Our ability to make plans has changed. Personally, I can’t foresee when I might contemplate re-booking an overseas trip that we had planned for 2020. My world has shrunk and my gratitude for being located where I am has increased.
New vocabulary As epidemiologists came out of the woodwork, phrases like : COVID19, Social distancing, Community spread, Contact tracing, Isolation became commonplace
Loss However positive we try and remain, it cannot be denied everyone experienced loss in 2020. Lost income, opportunities and of course family members. I think of the Year 12 students, missing the ‘rights of passage’ of their final year of schooling, of the first year university students who were thrust into online learning instead of the new experience of University life. Those who lost jobs and opportunities as businesses closed. Lost opportunities to gather together for family celebrations – postponed weddings and funerals with limited numbers.
Opportunities The ingenuity of people who adapted their business to online versions – home deliveries exploded. What do the staff at the Penguin parade do when the people can’t come to them? They broadcast the daily arrival of the tiny creatures on the Philip Island beach via the internet to the world. What do high end restaurants do when their diners are no longer sitting at their tables? They create gourmet meals ready to complete and enjoy at home.
Inspirations The random acts of kindness and inspiration from groups like the online choirs who collaborate to keep creating music from their homes. The call to duty when families in high rise communities needed culturally specific supplies and the meals delivered to hospital staff. The ‘Spoonville’ towns that created focus points for our walks.
Controversy It was not surprising that not everyone agreed on the decisions our leaders were making. Were restrictions too harsh, or not harsh enough? Were they an attack on our human rights or a necessary effort to keep us safe? No politicians were prepared for a year like 2020, making decisions that were unthinkable as we watched the clock tick over into 2020. Did they make all the right decisions? Did they try their best? Were there better solutions? Would they do it differently if they had the benefit of hindsight? Questions, I ponder mostly without answers.
Comparisons The world went topsy turvy – whilst we were in lockdown, many parts of the world were opening up and then we are opening up, many other parts are locking down. Envy and empathy were on the roller coaster.
I can honestly say that I never felt I was ‘stuck at home’ – I was lucky, I was safe at home. I had work to keep my mind active, I have a comfortable home and was able to harness technology to keep connected. I missed contact with friends and family and normal routines. I bought a new jigsaw puzzle in March and it remains unopened. That will be a summer holiday treat.
It is obvious that this pandemic is not over – time will tell. I am hoping I am writing as we are entering the final phases – perhaps that is optimistic but we need plenty of that !
Here is a visual version on 2020 from my perspective – I count my blessings and am grateful.