One of the most frequently shared quote in the year 2020 was “There are decades when nothing happens and weeks when decades happen,” by Vladimir Lenin. The year drastically changed the way we live our lives, work and perceive time. During the year, there were times when weeks felt like days, and others when days felt like decades. Throughout the year people kept cursing and complaining about 2020 being a horrible year through various forms of expression in a rather creative manner. The COVID-19 pandemic tilted the axis of our world.
As the new year arrives, the people are again hopeful for resuming their lives as before, with the availability of COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon. People are ready to move on from this terrible year and to forget it like it never happened. But there are several lessons that the year 2020 taught us, and before we move to the new year, let us remember these lessons and carry it forward in 2021.
Preventive Measures Go a Long Way
One of the most important lessons that we need to carry forward with us is the importance of prevention. World Health Organisation has recently said that the occurrence of COVID-19 was devastating for sure, but it was not the worst, and that even more terrible pandemics may be ahead of us in the upcoming years if we do not take preventive measures.
Prevention is often underrated. People do not realise its value till the worst has hit them. Taiwan did not make this mistake, for which it came out as a winner. Taiwan, located very close to the hub of COVID-19 took preventive measures on time and was able to emerge with only about 800 cases country-wide and about 7 deaths. We all need to learn the lesson from Taiwan to ensure that we are able to manage the future pandemics in a much better way.
Let Bygones be Bygones
The year taught us the importance of relationships. It has taught us that working together is beneficial to all the parties. The strength of collaboration was observed throughout the country as the corporates, NGOs and the governments worked together to combat the pandemic, deliver essentials to the vulnerable and prevent the spread of the virus.
This was also displayed by four countries of West Asia and Africa, who chose to move on from their historical disputes and religious differences to embrace the power of unity. The countries of UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan officially established Diplomatic ties with Israel.
Perseverance is the Key to Success
2020 was a year that delivered a backlash to a lot of people. But there were many others who were able to rise to success in the year. One of them is the US President-Elect Joe Biden.
One might consider the idiosyncrasies of the Trump administration responsible for the success of Joe Biden. However, his perseverance deserves a huge chunk of this credit. Biden’s political success is not overnight. It has been backed with almost 50 years of participation in the political activity and several failures under his belt. Biden contested for presidential elections in 1988 for the first time, where he did not win. He again applied for the same in 2008 and again faced a failure. He finally got elected in 2020, after a long wait of 32 years.
Organize the Finances for a Rainy Day
The COVID-19 pandemic led to several people losing their jobs and source of income. With no way to meet the daily expenses, thousands were pushed to poverty. So many people had to go without necessities for several days, for they were unable to afford it.
The lesson to learn from this is that it is smart to organize finances for a crisis like this. This needs to be done not just at the individual level, but also at the level of the governments and policymakers. The neighbouring country of Pakistan is learning this the hard way, who did not manage their finances well is now facing the Balance of Payment Crisis.
Work From Home is not equivalent to no work
Work from home was often perceived as no work or a perpetual holiday. People assumed that when someone is working from home, they are lucky for they may be able to put in fewer hours of work. Many employers too would take work-from-home employees for granted and allocate a lot of additional work to them thinking, “They are working from home, they are not doing too much work anyway. It is okay to allocate this additional job to them.” Employers in India also assume that work from home meant that a lot of follow-ups will be required otherwise the employee will laze away and will not finish the task.
All of these misconceptions ended this year, where everyone was forced to work from home, and even so, the work was not only getting done but was often getting done with better quality and faster time. MNCs across the world would bear witness to this.
2020 was not just a year of pandemic, it was also the year of awakening. The lessons learned this year are priceless and should be carried forward to ensure a brighter and a better future ahead.