To say that 2020 has been challenging would be an understatement. A more accurate description of the past 12 months would be a train wreck. Our world has been turned upside down, inside out and every which way. Our old way has been replaced by “the new normal.”
Now, as we close the curtains on 2020, I think it’s worth taking a look back on the good, the bad and the ugly of the past year.
Not to be confused with another acronym starting with W. The Work-From-Home model of business has thrown companies a curveball, but so much good could come from this. There will be those companies that will benefit from this model allowing them to increase profits and hopefully salaries. People can save precious commute time and invest it into their families, their health or their favorite pastime. Lastly, some companies will be able to reduce office space, meaning more space for residential areas, or apartment complexes.
- Time with family
I, for one, am grateful for being able to spend more time with my family. My son spent three months at home during the lockdown. That time we spent is something I’ll treasure. I helped him read Harry Potter, his first English book (he goes to a local Japanese school). I was also able to spend more time with my wife before she was hospitalized.
- New Hobbies
Many clients I talk to have taken up new hobbies because they were asked to stay home. Jigsaws made a comeback. Streaming has become the form of entertainment. Elder people have figured out how to use smartphones to keep in touch with family members. Nature has taken on a whole new meaning. Sometimes being forced out of our comfort zone is a good thing.
No one likes wearing masks, but consider the alternative. Most of us would like to get back to life as normal, but I don’t see that happening for quite some time. To me, masks are just the price we have to pay for the time being.
- Do Not Pass Go
We all loved getting the “Advance to Go” card in Monopoly. Sadly, that’s just not the case this year. Some of us had to endure severe lockdowns, others milder ones. Travel has come to a screeching halt. I can’t wait for the time that I can travel internationally without a two-week quarantine. For now, I just make do with the local trips.
- Restaurant Pandamonium
Restaurants, along with hotels and the hospitality industry, have been hit hard. I personally love to eat out and here in Japan, I’m lucky I still can. What we need to understand is that they’re hurting, and so we need to offer our help to those restauranters where we can.
There’s just no way to sugarcoat this. While Time Magazine gave Biden & Harris the “Person of the Year” award, there is no doubt that Covid-19 deserves an award for the impact it had on our world. It has changed how we socialize, work, eat, travel, and so much more. I wish I could say the vaccines will allow us to get back to our old lives soon, but I have a feeling Covid and its mutations will be with us for some time to come.
- Hypocrisy Galore
I once heard someone say that children can endure almost any hardship. They are much more resilient than many people give them credit for. However, the one thing that all children hate is hypocrisy. It’s the father who tells his kids not to play video games, but spends hours on his new PS5. Sadly, this year, so many leaders and politicians failed us in this regard. There are too many to name but I am sure you can easily make a list in your head.
- Depression and Anxiety Skyrocket
I have read numerous articles about surging numbers with regards to depression and anxiety. Not much of a surprise. We are, by nature, social beings. These lockdowns have prevented some of us from having that human connection. Here in Japan, elderly people in homes have been cut off from family and relatives for months and it’s taken its toll.
Moving into 2021, we need to find ways to help those people who are struggling because of depression and anxiety.