2020 Pros and Cons



What a year! A year of good and bad, highs and lows, of pros and cons.

THE CONS: Early in the pandemic, obsessively watching TV news — and seeing people collapse in the street in China, bodies in hospital corridors in Italy, rows of coffins. The horror of outbreaks in Sydney Aged Care facilities and medical staff having to choose who should receive treatment.

Economies faltered. Jobs and businesses were lost.

So many of us were separated from friends and loved ones. We still haven’t seen our Queensland family — it’s now been over a year. In that year, our grandsons have become young men.

We didn’t travel of course — no outback trek last year. After flying home from WA in March, just before borders closed, we didn’t dare travel interstate. Just a few local forays recently.

THE PROS: Yes, there were some. The earth’s environment recovered a little. Images of dolphins in the canals of Venice and clear skies above crowded cities were symbols of hope.

People found ways to stay in touch. We learned to zoom. Businesses re-invented themselves.

The world’s scientists co-operated in creating vaccines. Medicos and scientists gradually learned more about the virus and the best ways to treat it.

Here in Canberra, we felt relatively safe. Everyone in the small community in which we live was mindful of the need to protect each other.

The enforced time-at-home allowed for calmness and creativity — for music, for writing. There was time to finalise my second novel and nurture it to publication. I was able to organise new typesetting and a brand-new cover for my first novel. This website had its genesis during that period.

Despite our eagerness to be rid of 2020, there is growing realisation that the new year won’t fix everything. Much will remain the same for some time; a vaccine won’t be the cure-all we may have hoped for, economic recovery will take time. The thousands of grieving families of COVID victims will still be living with their pain. The impact on mental health will have far-reaching effects.

But what we have learned is resilience, to know we have the ability to adapt and to care for others beyond our immediate circle. There is hope.

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