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December 5, 2020

A year to forget

Opinion

December 5, 2020

This year – 2020 – turned out to be the darkest and longest black mirror episode. The year was the beginning of an entirely different decade, a whole new age for humanity.

As a matter of fact, so many things happened in 2020 which changed the entire direction of where we went as a civilization. No year is insane but the events that happen make it crazy for us to believe and make us call it the ‘worst year’. A lot of people may want to now even sue those who wished them 'happy new year' at the start of 2020. But who knew then how things would turn out and where we would end up?

So, what happened during this year? What made this year the absolute worst year that many of us have ever experienced? The start of this year was pretty rocky. We experienced things that we did not probably expect to experience in many decades, let alone in a year. The entire world was forced up against the wall as 2020 turned out to be a hurricane of blood and tears.

Disasters, deaths, the Covid-19 pandemic, global lockdowns, economic recession, war threats, wildfires, jet crashes, historic floods, earthquakes, protests and riots – 2020 seemed like a science fiction movie with both apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic elements, though even more catastrophic.

The year has been sensational for all people from all of society with its upheaval, loss, restoration, and resilience. We are in for a massive and thorough turn-out of old forms that developed, worked and carried us through to the point where they barely worked at all any more, being riddled with corruption, and hide-bound notions framed in a very different time.

Reality is harder now due to these circumstances. A stretch of bad events kicked off the year. Wildfires overwhelmed Australia with apocalyptic scenes, followed shortly by the Iranian regime shooting down the Ukrainian airline during a series of escalations that nearly brought Iran and the United States to war. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic started to engulf the world, causing major economic disruption and killing almost 1.5 million people worldwide.

This year also witnessed earthquakes in Turkey and airplane crashes in Pakistan and Iran. The year got worse when an African-American man was killed by a white police officer. This caused many protests and riots globally. Recently, in August, the Beirut explosion added to the tragedy and chaos, killing over 150 people. Furthermore, the French once again became a breaking point for all the Muslims of the world. An estrangement between France and Muslim nations grew after this latest episode, as it served as a pot of salt for the wounds of Muslims.

This year has been a test. Whether it was mustering the time and patience to home-school, being resilient enough to postpone one's wedding, being brave enough to work each day at the front line or coping with job losses – we cannot just forget this year. Our experiences cannot be erased.

A lot of challenging things happened this year, the world shook, and people lamented, but as much as the world went through floods and fires, we have refined matters and now have better clarity of who we are as individuals and as a human race.

We all had no choice but to show up, be strong and get through it. As crazy as this year has been, there are many lessons to be taken away from it, all that will make the world a better place in the end. Every crisis comes with opportunity and it is important that we do not let a crisis go without drawing lessons.

We will be blindsided by the unexpected; our only choice is how we respond. Tomorrow is unknown. Swallow the hard pills. Accept the worst. Learn and live now.

The writer is a freelance contributor based in Islamabad.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: ZainabNazir28