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January 2, 2021 - Goodbye 2020, welcome 2021
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Goodbye 2020, welcome 2021

Goodbye 2020, welcome 2021

We are glad to wave goodbye to 2020, and welcome to 2021. This year gave us both a global pandemic and a financial crisis; and the education sector has seriously been affected. It’s probably fair to say that this has been one of the worst years in recent times. We lost our prominent personalities- politicians, physicians, intellectuals incurring huge loss in our life and society.

The year 2020 has been a very difficult year, with everything under the mantle of the pandemic. It shifted classroom teaching to online; and cancelled the important public examinations. All of the year’s plans and objectives have been disrupted by the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are still moving forward.

In 2020, the pandemic wreaked havoc in countries across the globe, causing a global health crisis and forcing economies to slow down; and affected the lives of millions of people. Many of them lost their jobs; had to stop their business; changed professions, and were internally displaced. However, the outbreak has also impacted the environment in an exciting way.

Is it possible to look back on this past year and find positives? 2020 was a year of constant, shifting, and often daunting challenges. We suddenly had our lives put on pause. Many lost jobs. Children tried to learn from home while parents juggled that demand while working from that same space. Many of us gained weight. Many of us lost loved ones. We have learned some lessons and skills too.

The teaching-learning tremendously suffered in 2020. The government put its whole effort to minimize the loss, and initiated online teaching-learning at all levels of education. But, the research explored that the online education was not effective as per our expectation. The healthcares, business, small trades, social services faced the worst challenges ever which put huge pressure on the public and private sectors.

Besides suffering in 2020, people learnt many things; they spent quality time with their family, fulfilled their hobbies, learnt many new skills and understood the importance of sanitation, health hygiene and social distancing. This crisis revealed that there is a need to improve our healthcare system and clinical researches.

It is good to think that new technologies emerged due to pandemic in 2020. Online business, social media, online communication platform flourished. People are introduced with the new technologies and their usage. It seems that remote work is never going away because some organizations have discovered that they are able to maintain business continuity in a work-from-home environment while saving money on overhead costs.

Of course there was so much pain and hurt, and lots of the changes had downsides. But, we also can see the good. Time at home with family, finding new hobbies, being out in nature. There were many ways people found good in this year. It has become apparent that while there has been a lot of truly bad this past year, there has been good as well.

There was a reduction in transportation and industrial activity which allowed nature to recharge and replenish. The CO2 emissions have been reduced which improved air quality. We felt the depletion in greenhouse gas emissions, but this is not an option for long-lasting climate change. It has also shown that communities can make a difference when they take care of each other, and this could be an invaluable lesson.

However, we want to hold on to everything we have learned a lot from this year. 2020 will be the year in which we discovered that the most important thing is to share life with our friends and family. During this difficult year, we have shown that our near and dear ones are still by our side. They have made us stronger and shown us that together we can cope with anything.

Many people more or less tried to be purified; went to the religious and moral teaching; avoided crimes and sins. They established their belief and faith in religion and the supreme power of the Almighty. The COVID-19 pandemic may be a wake-up call and a dress rehearsal for future challenges.

It’s important to find the good in this past year and celebrate it. Now, I think this year has helped us think more about what matters. It is important for us to say goodbye to 2020 in a healthy way. It is alright to acknowledge all the challenges and sorrows, but it is also important to move on. People shift their perspective, unplug when they can, and be kind to themselves as 2021 approaches. That’s a good thing.

Now we are ready to goodbye 2020 to welcome 2021; but who knows what is in our fate in 2021? Could 2021 possibly be worse? It’s difficult to imagine. We certainly hope it isn’t. Those of us whose glass is half full are ending 2020 with hope as the first deliveries of the vaccine are reaching those most at risk in different locations around the globe.

The Year 2021 is uncertain; but, living in uncertainty is definitely hard. There are hundreds of questions and no answers. We are desperate for a return to some sense of normality and look forward to having access to the vaccine and being able to relax and be hopeful. We hope it’d be a relief to see the job market rebound.

As we step in 2021, with the tenuous promise of a suite of vaccines, we face a new test: we will need to decide what kind of post-pandemic world we want to build, for ourselves and for future generations. Everyone is hoping that 2021 will bring relief from the COVID-19 crisis.

In 2021, it’s all focus on an effective vaccine for all. We hope children will move to schools; employees and workers will attend to their offices and works. I am always in favour of people moving forward with hope. I am hopeful that we will come through COVID as best as possible I am also hopeful that 2021 will be a great year.
Dr Md Enamul Hoque is educational researcher and teacher trainer

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