Goodbye 2020, And Happy New Year 2021

2020 was challenging to say the very least. It started out as a celebration of the end of the second decade of the 21st century with a bang. So did we get the milestones to mark our success? Unfortunately not. Instead, we had challenges, one after another. Has it been an eventful year? Indeed it has. Was it a memorable year? You bet it was. Are we sad to see it end? Most definitely not… In fact, we’re actually looking forward to a brand new year. We can’t wait to leave all the baggage behind with 2020, as we step into the brand new 2021.

12 O’clock, indicating the end of 2020, Happy New Year 2021. Clock showing one minute until midnight, with a blurry red lights in the background.
Counting down the seconds to the end of 2020, we celebrate the New Year and welcome 2021 with great anticipation.
Image by PSDgraphics

2020 In Hindsight

2020 started out pretty much like all the other New Years prior. Lots of outstanding targets to achieve before the end of the current year. Excitement in the projections of the coming year ahead. Here are some of these major highlights :-

Car's side mirror, metaphorically showing the past 2020 in the rear view.
Taking a look at what we’re leaving behind in 2020 in the rear view mirror.
Image by Mikes-Photography of Pixabay

(1) Wawasan 2020

2020 was an important milestone for Malaysians, as this was the year we realise Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020). A bold ambition conceived back in 1991, put into motion by the then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The three-decade-long timeline didn’t exactly pan out as projected. In the end, everything fizzled out unceremoniously.

(2) COVID-19 Pandemic

Visual representation of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Visual representation of the Novel Coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
Image by CDC of Unsplash

If we could sum the biggest overshadowing issue for 2020, it’s the Coronavirus. More accurately, the COVID-19 disease. It actually started much earlier, first reported back on 17 November 2019 by South China Morning Post. But it was on 31 January 2020 that WHO declared it a global health emergency. COVID-19 is now officially an epidemic. Shortly thereafter, on 11 March 2020, WHO raised the health crisis level from epidemic to a full-fledged pandemic. With national borders shut, and lives as we know came to an abrupt halt worldwide.

(3) Adapting To A New Norm

An empty cinema hall, showing alternative seats being blocked off to enforce social distancing in 2020.
Even cinemas have halved their capacities to maintain a physical distance between patrons.
Image by Caroline of Unsplash

Social distancing” becomes the new buzzword. People are advised to keep a minimum distance between one to two metres (varies with countries) away from each other. The only known practical way to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the culprit behind the COVID-19 disease. Unfortunately, not everybody knows exactly what “social” actually means in “social distancing”. Before long, the buzzword had evolved into “physical distancing“. That’s right, to stay away physically from one another.

(4) Face Mask Is The Fashion Statement For 2020

Close up of a woman wearing a fashionable mask in place of the drab and disposable surgical mask.
Drab disposable surgical masks gave way to more colourful and patterned masks as the practice of wearing face masks became widespread.
Image by Christo Anestev of Pixabay

Wearing of face masks has become compulsory in public places. It started with the generic disposable surgical masks to protect our respiratory openings. As the practice became a requirement, the more creative among us differentiate ourselves with uniquely designed masks. And an unexpected advantage emerged from this practice. These designed masks uses fabric in place of paper or other non-woven material, making it non-disposable. That’s another plus point for the environment too.

(5) Working Remotely Or From Home

Woman working on a laptop computer, propped up on a low chair, as she also takes care of her child.
A delicate balancing act between work and taking care of your child.
Image by Standsome Worklifestyle of Unsplash

It’s no longer acceptable to work in a socially active open office space. Not when practising physical distancing. So how do you keep the cogs of the industry turning if people can’t come to work? Well, they can work remotely, or from the comforts of their own homes. This trend has slowly seeped in over the years, especially with the younger generation, to the dismay of many employers. The pandemic not only made it acceptable, but actually accelerated its adoption. Well, at least work still gets completed despite the difficulty.

(6) 2020 Economic Crash

Visual representation of market crash in a graph, indicating the bad economic situation in 2020.
2020 sees an economic downturn unlike any other. This one is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, halting almost all economic activities the world over.
Image by Ming of All-Free-Download

Economic booms and recessions are a pretty predictable occurrence. However, this COVID-19 induced economic crash may very well be an exception. From the onset of this pandemic, it’ll be almost a full year of suppressed spending. The weak demand for goods and services caused a severe drop in business volume. This in turn caused companies to cut down on expenses (i.e. reduce employment). And the people who had their income slashed, or worse, lost their jobs, will suppress their spending even more. Which brings us back to square-one – the total halt of most economic transactions. As early as April 2020, some people are even predicting a total economic collapse in 2020.

(7) The Meteoric Rise Of Video Conferencing

2020 is the year when the usage of video conferencing shoots through the roof.
Video conference replaces the physical meetings as people maintain physical distancing.
Image by Lynette Coulston of Pixabay

Video conference has always been around, but unless absolutely necessary, people still prefer actual social interaction. Video conferencing is there for the times when there’s absolutely no way for you to physically meet up. Otherwise, it’ll always remain a distant second choice for business or work-related meetings. And 2020 was indeed the year that we avoid physical meetings as much as possible. This brings up the need for online meetings, or video conferencing. Zoom, a relatively unknown app before 2020 is now the de facto teleconferencing app. Schools and universities conduct online classes almost exclusively using Zoom. Meanwhile Skype is also enjoying a resurgence too.

Will 2021 Prove To Be Better Than 2020?

Here at Espoletta, we choose to look at the brighter side of things. We foresee the gradual lifting of the dark skies in 2021. Yes, there definitely is light at the end of the tunnel. The brand new year 2021 will bring us out of the doom and gloom that 2020 has befallen us. Mankind will have defeated the COVID-19 pandemic, and will rebuild the scarred global economy. We shall all emerge much stronger than before.

A good bye note addressed to the year 2020, attached to a face mask, indicating the symbolic end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Goodbye 2020! It was nice knowing you, but we won’t say that we’ll miss you.
Image by Immo Wegmann of Unsplash

2020 was a challenge, an adversary much stronger than any we had encountered before. But like all challenges, this too will eventually pass. 2021 will see the emergence of a much better life for all humankind. Henceforth, we shall continue to keep publishing interesting and meaningful articles to keep the spirit high.

Happy New Year 2021

Happy New Year 2021.
Here’s wishing our partners and audience a very Happy New Year 2021.
Image by PSDgraphics

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our partners and audience a happy and healthy 2021. Happy New Year everybody!… Feel free to chip in and drop your New Year wishes in the comments below.

About CHOW Wei Ming

Brand consultant, photographer, creative director, storyteller, and a true believer of the power of visual communications. Outwardly expresses a friendly disposition, but hides a perfectionist nature deep inside him.

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