The coming week will usher us to a new year and the entire world is hoping that it would be better than 2020. This year was certainly one that we will remember for a long, long time.
Concepts like social distancing, wearing face masks and sanitising your hands regularly, ‘work from home’ and lockdowns have become a norm. Many regular travellers have not travelled in almost a year. A lot of people have lost their loved ones due to this novel coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in many ways. From exposing how the healthcare system was unable to deal with a global pandemic in most countries, to an economic crisis that many poor countries would take years to recover from, it affected all and sundry.
According to a blog published by the World Bank, “the pandemic has harmed the poor and vulnerable the most, and it is threatening to push millions more into poverty. This year, after decades of steady progress in reducing the number of people living on less than $1.90/day, COVID-19 will usher in the first reversal in the fight against extreme poverty in a generation.”
COVID-19 should also make the world think of how much damage we have done to our globe and environment. Climate change is a harsh reality that one can only ignore at their own peril. When lockdowns around the world started and travel restrictions were imposed, the level of air pollution compared to last year went down during that same period.
People were fascinated by the clear blue skies in their cities. According to researchers at Future Earth’s Global Carbon Project, the global COVID-19 lockdowns caused fossil carbon dioxide emissions to decline by an estimated 2.4 billion tonnes in 2020, which was a record drop.
This pandemic was also one of the main reasons why Donald Trump lost the US elections. The way Trump mishandled the pandemic and denied how serious it was, it led to more than 300,000 deaths till date. On the other hand, Pakistan was relatively successful in dealing with the pandemic after the first wave. Now that the second wave is here, we hope that people will take it more seriously and not be careless.
Hopefully, the next year will bring some semblance of normalcy once the vaccine is administered in all countries. Unfortunately, it seems that poor countries will get the vaccine much later than rich countries. Let’s hope that the world community will help each other in this hour of need.
Here is wishing everyone a peaceful new year!