Give me 5...Good things to come out of 2020
By Milla Alexander / 29 December 2020
Yikes, what a year. We can’t pretend that millions of people around the world don’t suffer consistently throughout their lives. But what we can agree is that 2020 has been a shit year all round. Whether it’s been the loss of a job, isolation, physical or mental health issues, we can collectively say that this year has been unprecedented. Yes, coronavirus wasn’t the only thing to happen in 2020, but my word was every single day led by it.
I’ve had a tough year. Not only have I struggled with my mental health, but I’ve also had a renewed disappointment in the society we live in. I won’t get into the rest, but believe me - choosing to write an article about the good that has come out of this, a hell of all years was a challenge. I’m also a self-proclaimed pessimist, so while I tried - you’re best to be prepared for the glass a quarter full kind of vibe.
But here it is. Five good things to come out of 2020:
1. THE GREAT DEMISE OF TRUMP
The divide in America has never been so prevalent as it has since Trump was inaugurated into The White House. While I’m not from the U.S.A, his venomous, hate-filled four years as “President” to the white supremacist, right-wing percentage of the states has devastated marginalised people’s rights and safety since the moment he went on his rampage. Seeing Biden win was probably the biggest highlight of the year. While I don’t believe Biden will fix it all, the day Trump’s fake-tanned, immoral, reprobate, nefarious arse is kicked out officially will be one worthy of history and should become a public holiday in my opinion.
2. AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REEVALUATION
There's a myriad of opinions when it comes to coronavirus. But no matter whether you’ve taken to wearing everything but a hazmat suit, you’ve taken to the streets on anti-mask protests, or you sit somewhere in between, the pandemic has brought an opportunity for reevaluation. My dad has lived in Switzerland for over 10 years and I’ve never made the short trip to visit him. When the first lockdown began, we started having weekly calls, and now I feel closer than ever to him, my stepmother and my little brother. Maybe you’ve recognised the importance of your loved ones. Maybe you’ve left an unhealthy relationship. Maybe you’ve even been fortunate enough to choose a different career path. The impacts of COVID-19 have given us a lot to reflect on.
3. BLACK LIVES MATTERING
If but for a moment, and on the back of yet another murder, the world took notice of the grave injustices and unjust killings of Black people. George Floyd’s murder felt like a turning point for the Black Lives Matter movement. Like people, white people might be ready to put in the work to change. And I think some people meant it, and that still do. Statements were released, black squares were posted, and protests were marched. Most of it was performative, many marginalised people are still expected to do most of the work, and Karens are still crawling out of the woodwork all over the place so I for one am tired of remaining polite about the entire sordid affair. But I know that, while I’ll keep shouting about Black lives mattering, I won’t be forced to convince white people that they do.
4. THE POSSIBILITY OF A LESS POLLUTED ENVIRONMENT
Said lockdown meant that the environment was allowed to heal and renew. Rivers ran clean, wildlife thrived, the glow of global warming dimmed, proving there is a way we can fix the mess we’ve made and change the trajectory for our future generations. Of course - rather than plastic, we’ll probably find more masks in the ocean than fish by 2050 because as soon as we were permitted to resume an ounce of normalcy we proved the stain we are on the universe by resuming our litter-dropping, over-consuming, selfish ways. But knowing we have an option will hopefully change the behaviours and mindsets of the many, not the few.
5. KEY WORKERS CAME ALL THE WAY THROUGH
One of my five things was going to be about the time we were all made to take out. That we were forced to slow down. That was selfish and thoughtless of me because the key workers - the doctors, nurses, porters, teachers, cleaners, supermarket workers, to name only a few - didn’t get that option. Key workers most likely worked the longest, hardest hours of their careers. So many of these key workers are Black and brown people and immigrants and so continue to prove the importance of welcoming minorities into this and other dominant nations. We owe them more than weekly claps. We owe them bonuses, pay raises, and a better appreciation in the ballot boxes.
So, true to my word and nature - I was able to see the downside to the five good things that came out of 2020. But what can I say, I’m a realist. What I do see from this list is that we can come together and make change. Make amends. Make good.
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