It’s pretty surreal to think that, in a few years, history school books will be updated with the events of 2020 and children will be writing exams on our miserable experiences. The chapter of 2020 will be loaded with hours of events to make sense of and the added challenge of distinguishing the facts and the fiction. Before 2020 hit, it seemed as if history books would be relatively comprehensible; the climate and vegan movement, a few political dramas and memorizing the sequence of the evolving Iphones. (With the exception of the Trump-saga.)
We are still continuing to live the life of 2020; the year we so wished to leave behind on the 31st of December. We have adapted to this new normal and have found a substantial replacement for weather-small-talk. However, for a moment, imagine telling your kids about what life was like in 2020. Usually, the ‘In my days’ or ‘when I was a child’ conversations, are the opening line for unrelatable and boring stories about life without smart-phones. But fast-forward 10 years: Our kids would be all eyes and ears when we dig out our archives of toilet paper memes and show them our TikTok videos on how we treated our boredom.
The world definitely did not deprive us of historical events to fuel our pessimism and cynicism. If the deadly virus wasn’t already enough to fuel the fire, there were actual real bushfires in both Australia and California coupled with Donald Trump’s uncompromising denial of climate change. Trump also ignorantly played down the severity of the pandemic and offered the medical industry a head start in fighting the virus with his ‘disinfectant-theory’. Moreover, a dark irony made us ‘secretly’ smirk, when two ignorant political comics (Donald and Boris) tested positive – at which point we realized that most of our annoyances stems from the US Government and Brexit.
On a more serious note, 2020 also hosted a pivotal moment in the world’s fight against racism. With the world in lockdown, this movement attracted a colossal amount of support and awareness. Even though I wasn’t quite brave enough to risk going out into a potentially ‘covid-fested’ protest…I did post a black square on my Instagram.
The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is one of many cultural and societal issues, which we as a collective society, have had the time to reflect on and question. The same goes for the issues we face on a more individual and intimate level. We had (and still do) have the time to reflect on our values and our contributions to the collective society as well as within our closer community. We all had time for some ‘self-reflection’ and ‘self-improvement’. We were forced to have some quiet time with our thoughts and our 2016 new years resolution to meditate, finally came into action. Lockdown has also left us with no excuses to clear out our wardrobes and organize/minimalize our living spaces. However…one can only organize one’s underwear drawer so many times and I really don’t want to over-do the whole ‘self-improvement’ thing.
During this pandemic, I have come to realize two things about our generation: we love a conspiracy theory and we use dark humor as a coping mechanism. Memes have spread faster than the virus itself and our ability to find humor in the most dire situations has been very impressive. Our distant relatives have had even more screen time and experienced an influx of conspiracy content on their Facebook newsfeeds; which they very kindly shared with all of us. (somebody had to warn us about the 5G virus and Bill Gate’s elaborate plans) Essentially, the pandemic has evolved us into two types of people: conspiracy theory experts and comedians.
The day we finally transition back to what we know to be ‘normal life’, I am almost certain that we will admit to several pleasures of lockdown. Businessmen will have to get accustomed to wearing pants again and students would have to find other ways to ‘mask’ up their constant yawning during class. It will also be an adjustment to adhere to socially acceptable drinking hours again and to become more creative with excuses to decline invitations to tedious social gatherings.
I cannot wait to live life again. But this time, with a greater sense of gratitude – because it really is the little things in life that really matter. We have been sitting at home in front of Smart HD LED 4K QLED 7.0 TVs, Phones that listen to our thoughts and any other gadget that we gag for. Despite all of that, we actually only want the simple things in life. We want to bake banana bread and knit a jumper, and we want to hug our favorite people and kiss without proof of a negative test. We want to walk in the street and smile at strangers and have small talk about the weather instead of the daily number of Covid cases. We want to enjoy Saturday nights with our friends and Sunday lunch with the grandparents.
(But of course, we want to go on holiday – so if the airlines could get going, then that would be much appreciated).
Anyway, I look forward to a time when a mask is only socially acceptable on Halloween and where Corona is just a beer. Until then, lets keep our sense of humor and keep hoping for better days.
Stay mentally positive, and Covid negative. Xx