Who would have thought or even imagined that this year will shut the whole world down? But today we can finally bid goodbye to 2020: A year like no other.
With the Philippines being located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and Typhoon Belt, we are so used to a legion of typhoons and volcanic eruptions every year. As a matter of fact, we started this year with a bang, literally. On January 12, the Taal Volcano in the province of Batangas erupted after 42 years. Ashfall reached the cities of Metro Manila. We had to dust ourselves off after dealing with more than 15 typhoons in 2019.
But no one has ever reckoned of what would happen next.
Based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report, it started on December 31, 2019, when China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Province of Hubei. No one outside of China really cared. On January 13, 2020, Thailand confirmed one case of COVID-19. Afterward, several other countries like Japan and South Korea also reported confirmed cases. I thought, “okaaaaaay?” On February 1, 2020, the Philippines announced a COVID-19-related death, the very first outside of China. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic as it became widespread over the world. Then on March 15, 2020, Metro Manila had the first community quarantine or “lockdown”. I was like, “OKAAAAAAY!”
Everything went blurry and fast after that.
Nine months later, global cases have already reached a massive 82,618,673. Global deaths are now in 1,802,439. The Philippines already has 472,532 confirmed cases in total and the Metro Manila is still in community quarantine. While the vaccines from Pfizer/ BioNTech and Moderna have already been rolled out to other countries, and clinical trials for several vaccines are well underway, the coronavirus keeps on mutating every after two weeks, according to experts. A new strain that appears to be more transmissible than the original one has raised alarm first in the United Kingdom this month.
2020 is unrelenting.
Birthdays like no other.
A Good Friday and an Easter Sunday like no other.
A Mother’s Day and Father’s Day like no other.
A summer like no other.
A Christmas like no other.
A New Year’s Eve celebration like no other.
Later tonight, we will get to say “Goodbye 2020: A year like no other”, but when will its cataclysm end?
I am pretty sure that we all started the year 2020 with so many plans and feeling hopeful for the new year. I for one had so many things I was looking forward to: I was supposed to have my first speaking engagement last March; we were supposed to fly out to my dad’s hometown; I was supposed to spend Lenten and Christmas breaks with my family, among others. But everything had to be put on halt.
The company I am working for is badly affected so much so that they had no choice but to lay off employees. I was fortunate to be not let go, but our team needed to have a 2-day leave without pay per week. I had to suck it up. I had to let go of some of my plans that needed money.
While 2020 is the year of losses, it is also a year of bravery, resiliency, sacrifices, and heroism. Many of us lost jobs or businesses (or loved ones) but we mustered the courage to march forward because we know that we have families who depend on us. When circumstances left us with no choice but to be more resilient, we swung the fulcrum point in a heartbeat. There is nothing better than spending milestones and celebrations with our own families, but we chose to remain holed up in wherever place we are in because we prioritized their safety over anything else.
Finally, we witnessed how superhuman our medical front liners are.
The year 2020 made us realize that while humans can be despicable, cruel to Nature, self-seeking, and stubborn, we can become magnanimous for something that is noble and more enormous than us.
We created 2020 for whatever it was—all of it—with our obstinacy, indifference, ignorance for voting incompetent leaders, and mistreatment of nature. We are the lucky ones who made it through the worst pandemic after 100 years alive, and the torch has been passed onto us to make a difference. Unless we respect nature and make changes NOW, future generations will never get rid of these deadly pandemics.
2020 has given us some priceless realizations and tonight, we can finally shout “Goodbye 2020: A year like no other” at the top of our lungs and put all of its painful memories into a bottomless pit without forgetting all the lessons it gave us.
Our world will still be an uncertain and dangerous place, but surviving 2020 secluded and unsure of what will be going to happen tomorrow is one of the battle scars that we can talk about to inspire others. 2021 is not going to be an easy start and the future may still look bleak. But as counterintuitive as it may seem, we need to remain hopeful. After all, hope has always been the powerful force that drives humankind to endure, to persevere, and to live on.
Happy New Year!
Thank you for making The Bloggeram part of your 2020. I am looking forward to sharing more stories with you in the years to come. 🙂
May we all have a better, safer, healthier, blessed, peaceful, and promising 2021.