Last December, I posted a short blog wishing everyone a happy 2020.  I reflected on 2019 and realised I was lucky to have survived a number of health scares.  I declared that no longer would I take life for granted.  In particular, I would draw my family and close friends nearer me and shower them with love.  A few days later, I posted another short blog giving my resolution for 2020: to ‘Give & Forgive’.

However, we all know that 2020 proved to be a troublesome and tragic year with hundreds of thousands of lives lost to a new virus.  As a consequence, far from drawing our loved ones closer, Claire and I found ourselves isolated and seeing less of the people we care about than any previous year.

Even our everyday language has become more negative and cautious, littered with words such as pandemic, Corona virus, Covid-19, lockdown, R-factor, vaccine, anti-bodies, face masks, social distancing and self-isolation.

Businesses which were doing well or very well prior to the pandemic, suddenly found themselves collapsing or on the brink of collapse.  Airlines largely remained grounded, tourism all but disappeared, and simple social activities such as eating out or visiting pubs and bars was discouraged with such establishments ordered to close buy governments. Cinemas, theatres, museums, music venues, sports events cancelled or postponed.  On the whole, world economies suffered significant shrinkage as governments strove to support citizens and businesses by firstly dipping into their reserves then by borrowing on a massive scale.

Other consequences are being experienced with likely long-term effect such as unemployment, office life, eating disorder, mental health issues, and children’s development disrupted due to school closures and social interaction starvation.

Not everything has been gloomy though.  Some businesses (Amazon, social media, technology companies, TV streaming services such as Netflix, etc.) thrived during the pandemic.  Many of us reconnected with nature as we took to walking in parks, forests and mountains, with wildlife taking advantage of people’s lack of movement to reclaim trees, lands and pastures.  Pollution levels dropped dramatically and we could see further distances into the horizon than before.  Vaccines have been developed and began to be administered, with the hope that sufficient people are vaccinated to achieve ‘herd immunity’ sometime next year.  At a personal level, my daughter Rosy delivered a lovely healthy baby boy on 20th December, bringing a positive end to our year.

So, what do I wish for in 2021?  To be honest with you, I am nervous about wishing for too much.  Simple desires such as spending time with our children and grandchildren hardly in doubt in the past, suddenly has become a pipe dream.

But dreaming is what we do as we look forward to a new year ahead.  We may not accomplish such dreams but life would be boring and depressing without dreaming.  I am going to brave it and wish for a year that gradually evolves into a normal one with Covid-19 not being centre stage as it begins to fade away.

I am also going to dream about being able to walk down the street, without a mask, enter any shop without being told to wait until someone else leaves.  Stop looking on the floor of supermarkets and public places checking for markings urging me to maintain a social distance.  Cough without being suspected of having the Corona virus.  Wash and sanitise my hands less that 30 times a day.

Finally, my last year’s resolution to ‘Give and Forgive’ still stands for next year.

As for you, the reader, whether you plan on taking the vaccine or not, I wish you all of the above and virus-free good health for 2021.


Happy New Year…