Is 2020 a lost year?
You have heard it in media ever since the outbreak of Covid-19; “2020 is a lost year”, “We will never recover from 2020”, “2020 is a turning point in human history”, “the only real winner in 2020 is the environment”
Okay, let's face it, we have all been affected one way or another. And it’s been a sometimes painstaking struggle to just live day by day. Millions of people have lost their livelihood and some also their home. Many have died and some of the survivors will suffer lifelong struggles because of the sickness and its consequences after recovery. All of this is of course sad and heartbreaking.
But in this article, I would argue another outlook of this year and look at how it disrupted our way of life in many ways. And I think it has as well made some aspects of our lives better too.
2020 the year we started to evaluate how we live and work
We can all realize that life has to change, and how we embrace that change is the key to how we will adapt to the future. Maybe work as we know it has to change as well as our lifestyles. Consuming and travel are areas that already have changed. And further down the line, we will see other areas change as well. What we eat is already changing, we choose healthier alternatives and more plant-based foods that have less impact on our environment. We buy more second-hand clothes and refurbished furniture instead of buying new ones. We grow our own vegetables on balconies and in our backyard, finding new ways to make our food tastier and less expensive. There’s a long list of areas where our lives have changed and for the better.
2020 the year we treasure family more than in a long time
Families had to stay at home and be together more due to the Pandemic, in most cases the family grows stronger together but sadly in many cases, the families didn’t survive the eye of the storm following the outbreak. And how sad it still sounds, I think may of those families would have broken apart but later if it wasn’t for the pandemic. I can only hope the event if separations/divorces made families grow apart, they could make healthy relationships with each other after the storm especially if there are children's in the family.
2020 the year we transform how we work together
Remote working became a recurring concept and many companies continued there business by letting employers work from home. Tech companies have an advantage of course, and most of the white-collar works can do it. But obviously not all can do that, some works are still ‘hands-on’ and must be done in a factory or in a workplace. Many have realized that traveling to meetings is not needed at all times. Meetings can be booked and handled online at a lower cost, less environmental impact, and maybe even more focused. There’s a lot of ways to get things done online.
(I was the chairman of the Swedish Chapter of Socialmediaclub For some time back in 2009–12 and we run our meetings over Google Hangouts, our meeting notes were on Google Docs. And that was 10 years ago!)
2020 the year when teaching online became the new normal.
Schools and teachers started to use online tools like Zoom and Google Meet to study and teach. And many subjects in school can be taught in better ways online. And students can book 101 study time with their teacher online as well. I’m not sure but maybe a lot of the distractions in classrooms are eliminated while having online classes? But of course, a lot of the dynamics of having classes together get lost, and that’s a pity sometimes.
(I know, there are distractions at home too!)
2020 the year when hope isn’t lost but growing stronger
Every change in human history has been a turning point. And that it has been an engine for innovation and greater hope for the future. I believe that so will 2020 be for most of us and for the coming generations. One sign of the new times is that I see people I know changing careers and singing up for courses to for instance work in healthcare or with the elderly. Doesn’t that give us hope for the future?
2020 the year we will take with us into the future to better ourselves
So my final conclusion is that 2020 is a disruptive year in many ways and the lesson we take with us into the future will set our paths, maybe in other ways but certainly in a better and more environmentally friendly way. We have seen how people are adapting to the new normal and finding new ways to do things as well. Our way of life has changed and we are starting to adapt to the new reality, finding new rolls and growing.
We, humans, are a resilient kind and we will prevail.
I’m an optimist and I can only hope that others, as well as me, see the possibilities and not the hinders. My father often said to me:
“There’s only solutions” — Lasse Sporring
And I try my best to live by that quote!