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Forgettable 2020

covid 1

2020 is almost over and we all may want to forget this year forever. Cross it off from our lives like it never existed. Think that the last decade ended in 2019 and the fresh one began in 2021. That there was nothing in between. 2020: a year of crisis, chaos, and a global catastrophe that unfolded in front of us day after day bring death, and more death, until the numbers went far and beyond our wildest imaginations. But was 2020 only a year of gloom and pain? The year, apart from the miseries it brought with it, can also be remembered as the year human beings were forced to change their approach and come out of a slumber. We thought we had understood, and were adept to deal with, any crisis that was out there. We thought we had seen it all. That we were unassailable with all the research and work in technology and science out there. But then coronavirus came and blew everything away including all our assumptions. The world was taken aback. We were jolted from our sleep. We were told how vulnerable humans can become. What challenges lay ahead. And above all, what exactly should be our focus to ensure greater health and happiness of the entire humanity. Medical science found a new challenge and accepted it with both hands, and for the last nearly one year, it is engrossed into beating this pandemic, and it nearly has. But then, as per the World Health Organisation, the coronavirus crisis will not be the last pandemic. We should always keep in our mind that there will be more challenges ahead, there will be more adverse times in the future, however, we can always find a way out of such times. Adversity never leaves, but most adverse situations do end. Life can never be a smooth sailing, there are high and low waves, and calm seas awaiting us. And the horizon can be beautiful one day, and gloomy the other. The storms will rattle, and even sink some of us, but the circle of life will go on. Even the Holy Qur’aan talks about how happiness and adversity follow each other. That if one is there, it is soon going to be replaced by another. That none of them stay forever. What is in our hands is better preparation. Whether we are in a time of success and happiness or challenge and sorrow, we tend to think that whatever is happening now will keep happening. This is a fallacy. Changing our calendars from 2020 to 2021 will not magically make the COVID-19 pandemic disappear, but it will end eventually. Past pandemics have taught us this. There will be a time when new cases decline to small numbers and we will be able to once again teach in a classroom packed with students or share a meal as a research group without the overwhelming fear of spreading a deadly virus. While it is unwise to put our hope into a specific date when these activities might be possible, we can find strength in knowing that things will change eventually.