The Year 2020

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The Year 2020

Leah Elsa Ranjan
Thursday, December 31, 2020
The Year 2020

Wow. The year 2020, what a ride it has been.

To think that we anticipate the arrival of this year and eagerly entered the beginning of a supposedly new era almost seems comical now. After all that these twelve months have thrown at us, the only thoughts that forever reside in our mind are fear and gratitude: fear of being a victim of the harsh reality, gratitude for being blessed with a new day. And let’s be honest, at the moment, we are just counting down the days left for our freedom from the horrors of the great 2020, waiting to break free of the shackles that have tightly bound us to this dystopian-themed year.

But before we barge into a hopeful 2021, I would like to analyze the events of our current year, or in other words, take a trip down a not-so-pleasing memory lane.

January 2020 would have kicked off to a pretty great start, had it not been for the highly disastrous bushfires of Australia. The Land Down Under suffered drastically from the inferno that continued blazing from December of the previous year. These losses include the burning of around fifty acres of land, displacement of thousands of people, and deaths of many living beings.

Though not quite significant, the rumours of the occurrence of World War Three seemed to spread at the speed of light, and much worry was felt by world citizens at the thought of chaos, bloodshed and complete destruction. However, these were soon forgotten as we armed ourselves for battle against an enemy, who possessed powers greater than any known to man: a tiny invisible organism, commonly known as a virus, that had been unleashed from the labs of the lesser known city of Wuhan, China.

Slightly shaken by what frosty January had in store for us, we stepped into February, who brought along with its chilly winds and teeth-chattering weather, a special visit from our little foe mentioned above, the Coronavirus. (cue dramatic music)

It had arrived, surprisingly unexhausted, to the Middle East, after similar visits to other parts of the world, and soon, it took that world tour we all dream of experiencing, and had the entire global community cowering in fear.

The touring of Corona brought a halt to our daily activities and in a matter of weeks, the entire world shut down. The situation had been declared a pandemic, something that we, especially the current generation, have only read about in our history books. Schools, universities, offices and places of entertainment were completely closed, and for the many adults who experience the Iraqi invasion, it was like reliving the chapters of the year 1990 all over again.

Slowly, the lockdowns and partial lockdowns imposed in March had become commonplace, and online classes and virtual meetings were introduced, as these were the safest solutions for interaction, besides beings a means of continuing our education and work. We here, remained stuck at home, except for our brave frontline warriors, who worked hard day and night to ensure our safety and protection.

In my memory, the event of June that caught the attention of people all over the globe was the brutal death of George Floyd, an African-American man in his forties. This was not any normal death; American officer Derek Chauvin is guilty of having knelt on the neck of Floyd for about nine minutes, resulting in the latter struggling to breathe his last. This enraged people of all cultures, races, gender everywhere, and was the cause for the rise of ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’, a movement striving to bring justice and power to Black people worldwide.

In the month of July, we witnessed the partial openings of offices. Most adults were to return to their workplaces, with strict obedience of the COVID protocol.

Less than a week into August, the capital city of Lebanon was shaken to its roots by the explosions caused by loads of ammonium nitrate. The little hope we had left after facing the obstacles so far was being further shattered, and our chances of surviving this year looked slimmer than ever.

Soon arrived September, and oh, what do we have now? Drastic wildfires in the West Coast of the US! High temperatures, strong winds and thunderstorms joined forces to destroy over four million acres of land in California ALONE. Worse, these flaming monsters had managed to find their way to New York, which lies right on the East Coast, making it the worst disaster ever faced in the State’s history.

Remote learning, mentioned earlier, has become the new normal; by mid-October, our schools had completed two rounds of main exams, through virtual platforms, and were heading towards the third.

And yes, festive celebrations, special occasions and other rituals of great importance were all virtual as well, for large crowds and gatherings were strictly forbidden, to ensure our safety and well-being.


Phew! Finally, the end of the year, and boy, aren’t we glad to have reached here quick! Over the year, questions on the research of a vaccine had been directed at the medical and scientific field every other day, and after months of hardwork, efforts and experimenting, the world has finally been able to produce not one, but two vaccines! Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine have been developed in less than a year’s time, thanks to our brilliant scientists behind it.

Living a good ten-to-eleven months in isolation, that is, lack of actual social interaction, and in a situation where complete normalcy is non-existent, it’s no doubt that we would have gotten used to this new lifestyle, and with the news of the vaccine rollout, our spirits undoubtedly soared high, but surprise, surprise, look at the year-end present dear 2020 has gifted us with!
“A new strain of the coronavirus has been seen in the UK, and now has been sighted in few parts of the world.”
In other words, are these events
To Be Continued…in 2021?

My my! We’re done with our analysis and it sure was pretty spine-chilling, wasn’t it? Honestly speaking, at the beginning of this pandemic, I was wonderstruck at how our situation was strikingly similar to the ‘Maze Runner’ series. [SPOILER ALERT!] And although it ended on a slightly lighter note, the journey to approach there was nothing less than horrific.

The year 2020, the supposed progeny of all dystopian novels combined.TM

I hope that the upcoming year, though not sailing on the best tide at the moment, holds better months for us, and someday, we’ll be able to breathe easily, mask-free.

Let 2021 begin! May the odds be ever in our favour.
Leah Elsa Ranjan
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