Goodbye 2020, hello…?

We have lost so much.

We have lost our jobs, savings, a big piece of our lives, our access to streets, restos, vacations spots, destinations, concerts, gyms, our regular schedules, normal routines, physical contacts with friends, communities, and so much more.

We have also lost the world we knew, lived and operated in. We have lost a sense of the continuity of the world, and life as we knew before. Gone are many of the assurances, safety nets that our civilisation had painstakingly through the centuries put together for us to live and enjoy life with reasonable predictability.

Instead, we have seen ourselves stuck in the tiny shrinking spaces of our homes, rooms and domiciles. Everyday, we eat in our same small space, see the same people and try to build a ‘normal’ life around our great fear of covid. We protect our turf and our health with social distancing, masks, face shields and disinfectant.

Our spatial and time borders have changed. We can’t drive or travel too far. Every day and weekends have all become the same. The distinction has disappeared. No more regular and ‘special’ days.

We have been deprived of being with nature and enjoying it. We have not been allowed to go to our spiritual comfort spaces, our churches and places where we used to go for solitude. When was the last time we hugged our friends? Or got hugged back by people who do not live with us?

2020 has been a tragic year for many. We had friends and relatives who had died, and we were not allowed to physically mourn our dear departed. We could not even bury them with love, and honor them by being there.

And while all of this was happening, we have unconsciously buried our emotions in fear and anger. Not many of us have taken pause to see what is truly happening inside ourselves. The truth is, we are in great mourning. We have lost the world we once lived in. We are also in trauma because of the tragedies that have assaulted us almost daily. We may not feel it but we are suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disease.

2020 has been vicious, and it is ending tomorrow. Many are relieved that a new year is ahead of us. But how sure are we that things will get better in 2021? We have so demonised 2020 that many of us actually believe that when it leaves, it brings with it all the ill effects of Covid 19, and that normality will return. But it is entirely possible that this horrible year is just the beginning of a long curse, a pestilence that will continue to inflict pain upon humanity globally. After all, the entire world is in medical, environmental, psychological, moral and spiritual crises.

A man of tribal origins once told me that the Universe was like a table which should be standing on 4 legs. The problem is it has only been standing on two legs for so long and it will take cycles of 25,000 years to acquire its third and fourth legs. And that is why the world is in constant crisis.

Metaphorically, he is correct in explaining how and why things are bad right now. In this eve of 2021, how should we feel? As we gather among remaining family members and very few friends while toasting our glasses to the coming year, should we be hopeful, or pessimistic?

Covid has undermined everything. It is as if all of humanity has been told that we cannot go back to how things were. We have all been kicked out of Eden. The gates have been locked. There is no returning. To survive, we must all think and act as one. We are not separate from everyone. In fact, we already know that a few careless, thoughtless infected people can spread the virus in a home, a whole street, neighbourhood, community, city, country, continent, and the whole world.

To avoid infection, we must always be conscious of his state of our own physical being, where we are going, what we are doing, and plan ahead so that we and every one else we encounter are safe. Casualness produces casualties. In fact, we should wear our masks and take all precautions not just for ourselves but primarily for others. In this new set up, either everyone is safe, or no one is. Their safety is our safety.

In short, and as simple as it can be said, if we want to be hopeful in building a post-covid new world, we must live consciously at all times knowing each one of us holds the key to saving the world from further chaos and destruction.

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