You probably made it, if you are reading this. Take a look at your hands and take a look at that person in the mirror. Resist the urge to touch your face.Take a deep breath… Can you believe it?
2020 was the darkest year on the map. It was darker, than the Maria on the Moon. Darker than the soul of my ex. Darker than Vantablack. You get the imagery, just picture the darkest thing imaginable. It was the opposite of lit.
The world is back to normal, but i digress. The world is not normal. Everything has changed. It took a global pandemic to bring a new world order and change us as human beings. The aftermath of 2020 if filled with hope, clean oxygen and a better livelihood for some. Some people have remained the same. I would love to paint you a picture of this new life, but lets rewind the clock.
Covid-19 aka Kung flu, Chinese virus, the invisible enemy or the unspeakable one, brought terrible news throughout the world.
Eviction: People where being evicted out of their homes/apartments because their financial situation was in complete shambles. The most shocking news came from China. Foreigners, mostly Africans, were being evicted out of their homes. If you had family elsewhere, you could simply reunite, but many people became homeless all over the world.
Misinformation: This just happened to be more deadly than the virus. It was all over the place, from social media, friends, celebrities, family, strangers, relatives and including the news (fake news is real). People making videos about remedies and what not. Turns out that misinformation and opinions were spreading much faster than the virus. Even some doctors, the people you expect to heal your life, were spreading misinformation. Finding correct information was a matter of looking beyond those prefixes and suffixes (honorifics-MD, PhD, Dr). Finding correct information was a matter of looking beyond what a person was wearing. Anyone could cosplay as a doctor and spread their little lies. Finding correct information was a matter of questioning and observing the language pattern of answers. Even websites with the .gov extension were questionable to some degree.
Disbelief: Some people were simply blind to the numbers and news across the world. Covid-19 was not an off topic conversation and you could find it just about anywhere online. Conspiracy theories played a part in the disbelief equation because similar to cognitive distortions they distorted reality. If i don’t feel it, its not happening. If i don’t see it, its not happening. Don’t go believing the lies people are making up. When people in a first world nation protest about something that's affecting the entire world by calling it a lie... You can't help those people.
Dishonesty: At what point does confidentiality cross the border? A healthcare working taking care of a positive patient, without notice and without any PPE. This made headlines in New York and just about everywhere else. A company not warning its employees, despite knowing that some of its employees were positive.
Shutdown/Cancellation/Delays: A term that’s synonymous with technology like computers and smartphones. The government didn't shutdown, but businesses did. If you were a big company, the effects were minimal or none at all. Small businesses wiped out and startups the same. Events, conferences and conventions gone virtual or completely canceled. The 2020 summer Olympics were cancelled. Some things were delayed until further notice. I was looking forward to a few things myself, but i had to wait. Everyone has their own list, but i had Cyberpunk 2077, Watchdogs Legion, Morbius, PS5 and Carnage.
Testing: The most infuriating topic of all time. Rich, privileged and celebrities were among the first group of people to get immediate testing, before anyone else.Some countries offered free testing and while others sought to it as the perfect time to capitalize on testing. Testing was ultimately delayed and not acted upon quick enough. Countries in the African continent, didn’t even have the resources to begin with. They had to wait for foreign aid.
Colonization 2.0: China is already taking over the African continent and exploiting just about every country. They found the perfect opportunity to exploit even more with the invisible enemy.
Inflation: High demand and low supply. This topic is probably overlooked, but don’t forget that some people paid $20,000 for a bundle of toilet paper. People also used this sweet time to resell stuff they bought, for a higher price online (Ebay like business model).
Social Distancing: The most used and misused term. The clarification was later made, that it’t not social distancing, but physical distancing. It goes back to psychology, that humans are social animals.
Laid off: Some, if not most companies used this opportunity to lay people off. Some of the reasons were justified, but some were plain out wrong.
Reactivation: Turns out early celebrations are in their true nature, early. News about people who thought they were cured and later re-experiencing the terror was scary.
Economic Turmoil: The second biggest thing to be hit. Stocks crashing, cryptocurrencies declining in value, 401k’s plummeting and just about any type of asset going down. Cryptocurrency was not too affected as fiat currency
Death: No one knows the exact numbers, but the figure is high. The number of suicide rates spiked and those numbers are not clearly known as well. There was no time for proper burials or ceremonies. Cremation — burn to ashes.
Stay where you are: No, like really. Ships don’t get to dock, unless everyone is tested.Travel bans that banned people, but not goods. If you traveled to another country, that’s your new home. Learn the language,assimilate and definitely learn how to cook the food. If you don’t follow orders you get fined or get locked up.
Xenophobia: It’s still fear none the less. The first time in some countries and some not first. Asians were in the spotlight and did not look good to be Asian.
Hoarding: Let the toilet papers roll and food vanish from the farm. I don’t know, if there is such a thing as good hoarding. If you bought plenty of food, you had plenty to survive and that’s natural medicine right there. People buying guns… Uh, okay.
Website heist: More online traffic than ever. Websites crashing, slowing down and having errors handling requests. Big companies didn’t have as much problems because they operate on a large scale.
Employment: Your job applications are meaningless because we are no longer reviewing those things. Go find a work from home job.
Information security: With more people online and mostly desperate for money. Scammers, hackers and trolls showcased their skills. People getting phished, hacked, having their bank accounts closed and what not. Not every stimulus check made it into safe hands. If you were hacker/scammer outside the USA, you definitely hit the jackpot, if you utilized your skills.
Essential Services: The term essential was overly subjective and the answer to this varied across different countries. Is a barbershop really essential? Is WWE really essential?
The world did not end and because of that we also got positive stories from the virus crisis as well.
Free vacation: Some, if not most people, work too hard and don't get to enjoy themselves. Quarantine gave them some free time and sweet vacation time.
Risk Takers: Some people used this time to quit the jobs they hated and try something different. Some emerged successful and those who failed pondered on the lesson to try again.
More time to learn: Best time to learn and no excuses were made about it. Learning that would enable people to switch careers and do much more. Self taught was the other famous saying apart from social distancing and stay home, stay safe.
Free stuff: Extended free trials, free digital goodies, discounts, coupons, and so much more.
Virtual weddings: It was already a thing, but it spiked.
World Records: Some world records were set during that time. The fact that China built a hospital in 10 days is something unfathomable.
Peace: Ongoing wars in other parts of the world ended because a new enemy had appeared.
Unity: Competitive companies collaborating to compete against a common enemy and setting aside their differences.
More time to game: Not only is gaming a great escape tool, but you are training your mind to solve problems. I found myself playing Plague inc and trying out different games online.
Quarantine Olympics: Competition within houses and what not. Diving into series, drinking competitions, playing with pets in creative ways, cup pong, balcony tennis, pillow fights, and some other crazy stuff.
More connected: From Tik Tok challenges, zoom video calls and a new type of content category on YouTube.
- Health is the greatest wealth.
- Financial freedom is better than financial security.
- When a person is unable to change their situation, they are forced to change themselves.
- The notion of death is greater than the excuses you make and your reasons for procrastinating.
- Together everyone achieves more (team).
- Skills in tech are a must and not optional. Its not just programming.
- It’s no longer survival of the fittest, but survival of those who are able to adapt.
- Family is always there for you.
- Death can teach us everything that there is to know about living.
- We can learn a lot from others (culture and lifestyle).
- The only person who can take care of you is yourself.
- We are all humans, despite what titles or labels we get assigned (rich, celebrity, doctor)
- Entrepreneurs or problem solvers are people who charge you for a solution to a problem.
- The world doesn’t need us, but we need the world — the carbon footprint decreased by a large sum.
- Self teaching and reality are the best teachers, not college and school.
- Money is an object. It can always reappear.
- Just because its over doesn't mean you have to abandon personal hygiene (hand washing with soap and all that good stuff).
- Humanity is one race, one tongue and one nation.
- Restaurants exist, but you still need to know how to cook and feed yourself.
- When your mind is too loud from all the external noise, you can find peace through meditation.
- Pain and failure are tools that help us grow.
- Lifelong learning is the key to an active mind and opening yourself up to multiple opportunities across the world.
- Remote work is not weird.
- The best thing to do during a time of crisis is keeping a journal and self reflection.
- We can’t appreciate the new things in our lives, if we don’t appreciate what we already have (Gratitude).
Its finally time for that sweet sweet imagery of the aftermath. The world has changed and you can feel it in the air, no pun intended. Multiple people have switched careers, people are going after their dreams and people are able to see the truth. Real estate is booming, especially houses that have bunkers. More people have adapted and are utilizing that decentralized applications. Healthcare is more affordable, than ever and the benefits actually exist. Employers have increased their pay by a small margin and they no longer treat people like crap. Technology advancements are advancing at a rapid pace. More jobs are being automated and there is an abundance of start up companies.
Final takeaway: Get ready the next wave. If you never learned anything during Covid-19, reality will become your teacher once again.
Thanks for reading and please leave a comment below. Constructive criticism is also welcome.
References/ Work Cited:
Coronavirus Outbreak Timeline Fast Facts
Read CNN's Fast Facts about the coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.www.cnn.com Coronavirus timeline: Tracking the critical moments of COVID-19
From citywide quarantines to infections aboard cruise ships to cancellations of major international events, the global…www.nbcnews.com Coronavirus Timeline
This timeline focuses on the origins of the novel coronavirus and the Chinese Communist Party's response. It is based…www.hudson.org WHO Timeline - COVID-19
31 Dec 2019China reported a cluster of cases of in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually…www.who.int
Al Jazeera, NPR CDC, World Economic Forum, WHO, NBC, CNN, Medical Journals, NIH & NCBI, Tik Tok