Seeing all my friends post their wrap-ups on 2020 on Facebook has put me in a somewhat reflective mood. Along with posting my own goals and achievements, I’ve been looking back at this time last year.
One of the photos that jumped out at me was a photo of my nephew and his cousin, both decorating a cupcake at a Lions Club stall. There are several bowls of sugary decorations and icing, that any of the kids can put their hand in, not to mention lack of social distancing. There are kids from different families, all just mingling and having fun.
Another thing that prompted my reminiscing was a comment I wrote in last year’s notes for work. Over the last couple of weeks (last year), we were facing a thick, choking, blanket of toxic smoke here in Sydney. The smoke was coming into the shopping center where I work, and was making me feel sick.
I vividly remember calling center management and telling them about it. I told them I was feeling ill and my customers were complaining. I also made a call to my company’s health and safety team and let them know. After around an hour, the smoke finally cleared. I presume center management turned on the exhaust fans finally. Seriously though, I never should have been forced to make that call.
Funny thing to add here. Yesterday, I received a memo stating an upgrade to those very fans will be taking place over the next few weeks. I guess it’s the old prepper saying: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
I went through my photos from December 2019, and found some of the ones I took of the smoke. Earlier, I went outside and recreated those images so you can see the stark differences. Last year we had smoke, heat, and bushfires, this year we have clearer air and rain.
Below, we have 2019 vs 2020. The images are 100% unedited- note the lack of birds and the sepia tones – this is how everything looked. Now, the air is clear and the birds are back with a vengeance.
We had bushfires, covid, lockdown, more covid, and in some areas, floods. Overseas, we’ve seen volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, explosions, conflict, and uncontrolled spread of covid. To say in the very least, it has been a challenging year for humanity.
Many people believe that 2021 will be the end of all that misery, but I for one will reserve judgment until I see improvement with my own eyes. It will be a long time until the vaccine has been tested enough to be deemed safe – as in for those on complicated and strong medications that haven’t been tested whether or not will clash with the vaccine.
It will be an even longer time until there is a cure for covid.
2021 is just another year, which will bring in a new set of challenges that we must face together. Maybe this will be the year of the mighty bin chickens becoming our bird overlords.
On that note, may 2021 be your year. Make it the year you want it to be. Be kind, be positive, and let’s all make the world a slightly better place. Together.