2020 has been a strange year for majority of the world. This is the first year, for most of us, when we experienced a pandemic and our freedoms were restricted because of that. Most of our generation, from the free world, has never seen a war. So all this was a shock to the system.
But like every year, the year has had highs and lows. The low is of course the pandemic which has caused almost a million deaths, devastated families, obliterated so many businesses and changed the world landscape forever. I mean some of the things that we took for granted like hugging strangers, having large gatherings, travelling when we like, meeting loved ones, are now something to be planned. I haven’t met my parents in over a year and I can’t say for sure when I will see them next. That scares me!
But the year has delivered some highs – even if they are far and few. I got to spend some quality time with my family. As we were locked down at home and there were no distractions from the outside world, we became close. It was a new feeling for my son who has only seen busy and distracted parents on weekdays at home.
Work from home became a new norm! Businesses over the world discover that their employees want to work and the place where they worked is irrelevant. Now work from home has become a norm and some businesses have realised that it is better than hiring expensive offices and making people commute for hours to deliver the same work that they can do from the comfort of their own homes.
This change will have a very positive impact on the society. There will be businesses opening in the suburbs which will be the new mini cities. Less commuting will free up our roads and choked public transport. Infrastructure spend, hopefully will be where people live, including on technology, which is one of the key enablers for this.
People will spread out, regional areas will be populated; with commute time going down, time spent on kids will increase leading to a richer, healthier society. I know some of these things are pipe dream but I am hoping that it has been a real step changer for the society.
Another high for me was that with borders what, we are exploring our own backyard more. While inter state borders are still shut, we have been travelling in NSW and with no date yet for international borders, it will be exploring our beautiful country for a while.
2020 has been a hard year but it has been one which has taught us the importance of what matters and forcing us to really look at our lives with a new perspective. I hope we can live a more fruitful life in this new normal and not forget the lessons learnt. 2021 will be another story!