Considering all that’s happened in 2020, it’s safe to say that this year has been atypical at the very least. Wildfires raged across three different continents, and climate change is slowly but steadily ramping up as the threat it poses grows in scope and scale. Murder hornets spread across the country, striking terror in the hearts of suburbanites and country dwellers alike.
By far the most defining event of the year, however, was a worldwide event driven by a virus too small for the naked eye to see. In a desperate bid to fight the spread, authorities have mandated measures ranging from mandatory mask usage to lockdowns and social distancing. Responsible citizens across the globe have held themselves to these guidelines, fighting the battle against the virus from the safety of their homes.
While there have no doubt been brighter highlights, there’s no doubt that this year has left many feeling dissatisfied with how things turned out. With many of us at home all by ourselves, we may find ourselves feeling cut off from friends and family. Taking into consideration the good and the bad, we think it’s safe to say that many of us are ready for this year to be over.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the good things that have happened this year, and a few of the many bad ones. We’ll also be looking at some of the ways in which 2021 might differ from its notorious predecessor. Finally, we’ll be offering some suggestions for those of you who want to celebrate the new year in a safe and responsible way. Let’s begin!
- What went wrong in 2020
- What might change in 2021?
- Celebrating the new year responsibly
What went wrong in 2020
If you’ve been living under a rock, or just want to get a clearer view of things, you may be wondering: why was this year so bad? There are a number of reasons why things went awry, but the most obvious is one we mentioned earlier: COVID-19. Early this year, the virus came to the forefront of the world’s gaze, leaving entire countries scrambling to check its spread.
In spite of various efforts from governments around the world, the pandemic quickly spread from country to country, soon infecting every single country in the world. Before long, federal and regional governments mandated measures such as the closure of non-essential business, the use of masks and most notably mandatory self isolation.
This mandatory self isolation naturally put many in a bad mood, causing them to feel cut off from friends and family. For those who live alone, the prohibition against leaving home caused many to feel trapped in the one place where they should feel safe. For months, millions of people were sequestered in their homes and forbidden to leave for any but the most essential excursions.
Moreover, the virus created a looming cloud of dread that still hangs over our heads to this day. For those of us who have elderly family members or other friends or family who are particularly at risk of contracting the virus, the possibility of those close to us contracting it is as frightening or more frightening as the risk we sustain ourselves.
Why is COVID-19 so dangerous?
While the dangers presented by the COVID-19 pandemic may not initially seem nearly as dangerous as the restrictions would lead you to believe, rest assured: it is. Despite what many sources of disinformation would have you believe, if the virus were to reach its critical state it could end up costing many more millions of lives than it already has.
The danger of COVID-19 lies in the way in which it’s treated. As things are currently, most patients are not at great risk of death because hospital respirators can allay the life-threatening respiratory failure that is recorded in many patients. However, should the medical system reach critical capacity, there would no longer be enough respirators to treat COVID patients, leading to hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths.
Among the groups most at risk from COVID-19 are the elderly and those with preexisting conditions. Medical personnel are also at a greater risk of falling prey to the virus, as they are in contact with patients affected by COVID-19.
However, death isn’t the only cost of COVID-19. Those who successfully recover from the virus are at a greatly increased risk of damage to their respiratory system due to the tissue damage dealt by the virus. All things considered, it’s safe to say that this is not “just a flu”. Please be sure to abide by all guidelines as closely as possible to avoid contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus and keep it out of your home.
What might change in 2021?
Seeing as how this year was understandably less than ideal, it makes sense that you might be a bit curious as to how 2021 might be a bit different than 2020. Let’s face it: this year can very accurately be described as “not that great”, and we’re all ready for it to be over. Let’s take a look at some of the things that might change once the new year has come and gone!
The first and perhaps most important development we’ll take a look at is the development of the COVID-19 vaccine that we all may have access to as soon as spring 2021. While developments on the vaccine have moved along much faster than is typical for such research, it will take some time before the vaccine is widely available to the general population.
Once the vaccine has been moved to widespread production (which will likely happen in spring of 2021) we should be able to expect rapid results. After the vaccine reaches the stage at which it’s widely available and the spread of the virus has been curbed, we should be able to observe an overall decrease in the number of cases and a drop in mortality rates.
Loosening of restrictions
After the vaccine has reached production and is widely available, we should also see general restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic relaxed as the number of cases drops dramatically. Stay-at-home orders, mask mandates and social distanced social activities will all hopefully become a thing of the past, as we look back on the memory of 2020 as we would a forgotten bad dream.
To touch on a more empirical aspect regarding the restrictions, we should also observe a return to normal commerce, with small businesses being allowed to reopen and business continuing as was commonplace before the pandemic. Most workers should be back to working from the office, which will come as a welcome change for many of those who were forced to restructure their lives as a result of the pandemic.
Reinvigorated social lives
For some, the most welcome change going into 2021 will be the reinvigoration of normal social lives. For those living in areas with strict restrictions regarding gathering in public and private, the ability to reconnect with friends and family will come as a welcome change coming out of a year in which we were essentially forced to greatly limit our social lives.
As an extension of this aspect of the changes that we are hoping for in 2021, we should also see the reopening of bars, clubs and restaurants. For those of us who have been limited to delivery services and drinking alone at home, we’ll likely see plenty of activity in cities heavily impacted by COVID-19.
Real estate market changes
For anyone working in the real estate industry, it’s abundantly clear that this year has not been overly kind to the real estate market. While it didn’t completely kill the real estate market (people still need a place to live, obviously) the pandemic has definitely had a very marked effect on the real estate market, with home sales declining significantly.
For real estate agents, this has led to some difficult times, especially those dependent on residential sales to drive business. The good news is that, once the pandemic has run its course, real estate agents should be able to start recouping some of their losses and making good on their investments.
Real estate agents can also consider pivoting towards more COVID-concious business practices such as closing deals remotely using modern technology, giving remote house tours and wearing masks during all dealings with clients and colleagues alike. This will allow them to operate successfully until we see the end of the pandemic.
Celebrating the new year responsibly
Now that the new year is in sight, we’ve got a lot to look forward to. With some luck, we’ll be gathering and enjoying the company of our friends and family in no time. However, there’s little chance that this will become a reality before January 1st. As it stands, we’re still going to have to observe COVID-19 safety precautions while celebrating the holidays.
Regardless what guidelines are in place in your country and region, there are still safety precautions you should follow no matter where you live. With the end of the pandemic in sight, we should all observe safety precautions with the knowledge that this will be over before much time has passed. Want to know how you can celebrate responsibly? Read on!
Long distance celebrations
One of the safest ways to spend this new year might not appeal to everyone, but holds the benefit of providing the maximum amount of safety for those apprehensive of spending time with friends and family in person. What is this method of celebration, you ask? The answer is a virtual long distance celebration!
Utilizing video conference calling software, you and your friends and family can join one another virtually, with absolutely 0% chance of contracting the virus or spreading it to others. While it may not be the ideal solution for you, you can still enjoy some good champagne and even better conversations while also sustaining no risk whatsoever.
Responsible in-person celebrations
If you can’t stomach the thought of virtual new year’s day celebration you can celebrate the holiday face-to-face, as long as your regional and national guidelines permit this kind of gathering. What’s more, with a bit of responsible planning and preparation, you can celebrate the holiday with minimal risk of infection.
The key to celebrating in person is observing as many safety guidelines as possible, and planning your celebration in such a way that it doesn’t endanger anyone’s health and safety. At a bare minimum, you should ask everyone attending to get a COVID-19 test and exercise social distancing during the celebration whenever possible. You should also make sure that everyone washes their hands upon arrival, and wears a mask if you deem it necessary.
Moving closer to home
If you live far from your family, you may be reluctant to celebrate in person due to the difficulty one might have in traveling alone or with friends during this difficult time. If this is the case, why not move a bit closer to your family and friends? This will give you a good reason to travel and will allow you to celebrate the new year with those closest to you.
If you’ve been considering this option for some time and you decide this is what you want to do, you’ll want to move as safely and responsibly as you can, given the circumstances. The best first step is finding a real estate agent in the area you plan on moving to in order to see what’s on the market. Once you’ve done this, you can proceed with safely buying a home and making your move a reality!
All things considered, most of us can agree that 2020 was not our year. Things really did not go our way, and we spent most of our time cooped up in our homes wishing to be set free from our self imposed isolation. With 2021 right around the corner, we can all hope for a better hand the next time around. This new year, be sure to raise a glass to things going better next time!
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