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January 21, 2021

A cancelled year

Editorial

 
January 21, 2021

The year 2020 proved to be an immensely disappointing one for many. Apart from the devastating death toll and the economic and financial havoc wreaked by the pandemic, it also suspended many activities and major events that the world had become used to over the years. IT expos held by social media giants such as Google are a huge source of significance for other companies who use them as a means to find their own base and possibly sell an idea to the giant in one form or the other while going through their products for their own advantage. The idea is to bring experts together and allow them to discuss progress and research in their respective fields. This could not happen in 2020 and may not happen once again in 2021 as the pandemic continues to rage through many countries, and is unlikely to be controlled before the end of summer this year.

Perhaps among the worst affected events were those involving sports and athletes. The last minute cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for July 2020 meant that a whole cadre of athletes suddenly found they would not be competing at the world's biggest multi-sport event. For some, this may mean an end to their careers. Some question as to whether slightly older sports people will be able to continue into the next year and prepare for 2021, with doubts still being expressed over whether the 2021 Olympics will be held and if so whether they would be held on a full-scale basis or as a lower level event. It is almost certain that audiences will not be allowed to witness the events, taking away much of the glamour of the sporting festivity. Already, the UEFA in Europe was held without audiences present and the difference was clear. In some cases, recordings of slogans such as the word 'goal' were shouted out by broadcast systems to try and bring some glamour back into the event and add to the excitement. It did not work.

Right now, we have the Australian tennis open going ahead without audiences – leaving it to be played in a strangely silent setting, where the sound of the ball being hit across the net is often all that can be heard. In addition to sports, Broadway plays, productions of various musical and dance events and all kinds of other festivals also had to be cancelled. For the people involved in all these and those who perform at them, this was then a lost year. We can only hope life will resume as normal by the time 2022 comes around.