I felt inclined to write this post hoping to spread positivity and shed new light on the year of 2020. I know this is a little bit late considering it’s now 2021, but a wise person once told me “Better late than never.”
As we all know, 2020 was a very rough year due to the tragic pandemic known as covid-19, that started spreading in february, 2020. This like all pandemics, came with great hardship, fear and loss. We had to act fast to gain control, and minimize the spread of the virus as much as possible. To do this, businesses had to shutdown, and the world had to go on lockdown for several months. Although it may have been the right move to go on lockdown to ensure minimization of the virus, lots of people such as myself were experiencing great depression due to not being able to socialize with friends and loved ones in real life. Of course we have the internet to socialize, but its just not as engaging, nor personabl. We can no longer hug each other, and truly interact with one another creating or continuing deep connections. Getting to the point i’m trying to get to, 2020 was truly an unfortunate year in which a lot of tragic events took place. However, there was some good that came from it. Yes the event that took place known as covid-19 was terrible and led to a lot of deaths, caused lots of hardship, and caused lots of unanticipated suffering.
“How does it not make 2020 the worst year ever? What good could come from it?” you may be asking, well its kind of a double edged sword kind of question. It’s the perspective you take on it. Glass half full or half empty? I choose to look on the bright side with everything. “How could this possibly have a bright side?” may be your follow up question.
A quote that spoke to me was, “the greatest life lessons, and rewards come through the hardest, or even worst, most painful situations.” So how do we apply this to 2020? Yes, it was very hard and caused lots of calamities, suffering, hardships, and even poverty. But we have learned so much through it. These lessons we otherwise would not have learned. “What are these lessons you may be asking?”
Kindness, and loving our neighbor.
Through this pandemic, we learned to love our neighbor, and help out our community under extreme circumstances . Because of the lockdown, most of us including myself felt very alone, and cut off from the world. But it turned out that was far from the truth. When people were contracting this awful virus, so many people were dropping off food to friends, or even strangers. People learned what taking care of their neighbor was all about. Individuals were generously paying for peoples mortgages, and other expenses just to ensure decent quality of life, and stability for their fellow members of the community. I also was blessed to experience the amazing generosity of a friend. I had come back positive with covid and was in the hospital. Being one of the first in my community to get and and first at the Childrens hospital, there was quite a bit of chaos as you can imagine. I was pretty much locked away with no contact to anyone other than my mom. No one wanted to come in the room, not even nurses in hazmat suits. We came to the hospital very unprepared. We were so thankful for a family friend who came to the hospital and dropped off food, drinks and necessities. I was blown away by that act of kindness and it really touched me and showed me so much. I realized that though this pandemic is awful and very unfortunate, we can still learn an incredible lesson of how to help out our neighbors to feel less alone and more connected even during a lonely, isolating time.
Awareness / being careful
Staying at home for months at a time has also taught people a bit about what it’s like for people who are disabled or living with illness. Everyone experienced what life is like when you can’t leave your homes and have outside contact. Something we experience a large portion of our lives. During cold and flu season I always have to be more careful than other people. Sometimes choosing to stay home and miss out on life to protect myself from getting sick as the medications I take cause me not to have an immune system that works well. This pandemic also taught us that everybody has their own struggles, some more visible than others. For me, as I mentioned before, I’m immunocompromised so i have to be very careful anywhere i go, wash my hands a lot, am careful where I venture and I am very aware of social distance. I can’t travel anywhere out of the country out of fear of contracting a virus, or infection or my disease flairing up. If i did it could be very dangerous, possibly deadly. I have amazing doctors here that know me well and they know how to take care of me. In a foreign country it would be really bad.
This pandemic of covid-19 has caused healthy people to experience our world. The have been locked down, having to stay at home and if they do go out socially distance, wash their hands, and wear a mask. It has taught us all a valueable lesson of awareness. Some people need to be more careful than others as they’re more vulnerable. We don’t know the journey and the battles others face each day, as some you may not be able to see. I think COVID has taught people to be careful, regardless whether or not there’s a virus circulating. We need to take care of each other and remember there are people in this world that have invisible illnesses and compromised immune systems like me so we should be extra careful all the time and be mindful of that even when this pandemic is over.
Faith / Self-discovery
Personally, i have grown a lot in my faith through the lockdown and learned to rely on my God and not depend so much on temporary self satisfactions such as going out with my friends, or worrying about money or being “cool”and always looking out for things that will benefit me in this life or make me”successful” or “socially acceptable”. I have really struggled with that. I now realize all of that stuff is only an illusion, and will only fulfill me for the moment but won’t truly last. The only one that will get you through life and will grant you permanent fulfillment is Jesus and his everlasting goodness.
Throughout the lockdown I was always depending on the media to see whats going on and what the experts were saying to do. However, I . realized the only thing that matters is God’s will He knows whats best for us, not the government, media, or any other worldly source.
The lockdown has also taught me a lot about myself i didn’t know before. I was blessed with the opportunity to learn about who i am and what my values, and limits are. I also learned what my strengths are and that I can get through more than I thought. I learned how important community and friendships and family are. I know who I serve and where I’m going. I also know that I’m here for a purpose and God is going to somehow use me and my story to help others.
I’m not trying to downplay all the awful things that have happened through this pandemic at all, but rather I am trying to look at the year with a positive perspective. Yes 2020 was full of tragedy, heartbreak, and even poverty, I’m simply trying to say, don’t label it as a “terrible, disaster year” because what we have gained persevering through it makes it a truly amazing coming of age story that made us all stronger as a community.