An elderly lady, the subject of a cartoon strip, said of Year 2020, a year regarded by most as the classic dramatisation of the Latin phrase, annus horribilis, in these words: I'm not adding this year to my age, I didn't use it. I perfectly agree with the characterization.
2020, was a year like no other. It was a year never to be forgotten and wished for. For a very long time, the human race came close to extinction.
It is a year; many would wish never come again in their lifetime, it is a year that started with tears and ended with tears. It is a year that suffering, pain, dying and death met humanity in hurtful embrace.
What started in the Wuhan province of China, in December 2019, soon caught up with the rest of the world. Coronavirus nicknamed Covid-19, defined the world and set humanity on a course never witnessed before.
The dreaded Covid-19, was not only a health issue, life and living as humanity knew, became more of a nightmare.
Economic and social activities lost most of their essence to the morbid propensities of a disease that is killing with reckless abandon.
Education in Ghana, since March 2020, came to a standstill; teachers and educational institutions had to improvise in order for teaching and learning to continue. Businesses had to throw away their plans and projections for the year 2020, because of a disease that, had defied all efforts to contain it.
Families were forced to stay away from each other, it is heart wrenching listening to stories of families, who are unable to hug or hold their loved ones, because of a disease.
The dead were not spared either, as they could not be given befitting burials. The last respect reserved for every living soul is when they die, that is why it is a solemn occasion, where family members and loved ones, as well as well wishers gather to say their final goodbye, never happened. We buried our dead like animals.
Covid-19, is not without conspiracy theories, as fingers have been pointed to certain direction, but be that as it may, the virus, has tested our advancement as far as science is concerned.
Health infrastructure of almost every country on the surface of earth, was tested, some counted bodies in hundreds on a daily basis. Health institutions, even in the most advanced countries, came face-to-face with the abject inadequacies of the facilities they once held aloft as the paragon of excellence.
In Ghana, when we ushered in the year 2020, we did envisage that the year will be a nightmare for all of us. All the New Year resolutions and prayers offered during cross overs and pass overs, were full of hope, greater expectations and a communal living that has defined us as a people.
But three months into 2020 and things took a dramatic turn for the worse. Schools were shut, recreational facilities shut, people asked to work from home but some never to return again because businesses that could not survive what became as the New Normal folded up.
The period of the lockdown, was a moment of reflection for many people, it was a time some people really slowed down, bonded with the family and took stock of their lives, parents who were busy with work and hardly made time for family, now had the opportunity to get to not only know their children but themselves as well as their neighbours. Some even met family members for the first time.
In all the devastation, lamentation and wailing that was the silver lining.
Over a million people have died from complications arising out of Covid-19 and are still dying, even as the world is locked in fear, following the second wave of the pandemic.
The dead are becoming names, with prominent Ghanaians, as well as some around the world, falling victims to the dreaded virus.
Coronavirus, has made nonsense of the fabled scientific prowess of the western world. Till date, the best humanity has to offer is still at odds on what to do to contain the rampaging virus that drained attention and resources from other health matters to itself.
In the twilight of 2020, the world heaved a sigh of relief, with a glimmer of hope of rising like a Phoenix from ashes, when announcement were made of a discovery of vaccines. Some countries, including the United Kingdom went ahead to give approval for two or more vaccines.
Just when we were beginning to anticipate the light at the end of the tunnel, comes another variant. As if by act of fate, the first country to give approval for the vaccine, was the first to record the new variant.
We have begun another roller coaster in the New Year. The world is devastated and running out of breathe. God will have to intervene, as he has done in time past, when humanity came to the point of extinction.
We have survived the worst and this, won't be different.
Coronavirus, has brought mankind back to reality, habits that were taken for granted in the past and which have now become the new normal, must be preserved.
Since last year, hand washing, which were taught in primary schools as hygiene manners, but have all decided to abandon, became a dominant feature in the thought process of not just the most outstanding medical scientists and researchers, but also that of the self-styled civilised societies.
Social or physical distancing became an elegant phrase as the virus mounts the stage in majestic power and grace.
We now live in a world full of uncertainties; no one knows what tomorrow will bring, we only hope for a better day.
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