Reflections on 2020

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2020 has been a test for everyone.

Every time I turn on the TV every station says, “It’s a year like no other” and “We are all in this together” This is nice to know but I am rather over hearing these phrases.

Oh deer what a year! We can all agree 2020 wasn’t a great year.

My 2020 started when we were in the midst of constant bushfires and we watched the fires near me app more than our television. The fires in the Blue Mountains had actually started in about September or possibly earlier in 2019 so we had about five months of constant fires, sirens, smoke and living with a go bag packed just in case.

When the winds changed near the end of 2019 the residents of the city of Sydney were whinging about having smoke in there backyard and having the constant smell of smoke. I know it was hard for them, but have a thought for us and others that were living this every day for months on end. No one seemed to worry if we had smoke where we lived but as soon as it blows into someone’s fancy penthouse or apartment it is national news story. Oh well there is my whinge about that issue.

Just before Christmas 2019 we were planning on visiting family but decided to leave a day earlier as they were closing the road going to Sydney and had already closed the road to Mudgee and beyond. Yep, where I live there is one road in and one road out… so if they are closed and the emergency department says ti is to late to leave you are stuck with no where to go. We thought it best to go while the road was still open and as we have 3 young children cannot just make quick decisions for all. We were lucky our place wasn’t burnt down and still in one piece, however there were burnt leaves that were still on fire flying into our yard, black ash over everything and heavy smoke and a red fire sun on our return in 2020.

Fireworks has been cancelled nearly everywhere. Sydney cancelled the 9pm fireworks and has told people to watch on the TV for the 12pm fireworks.

We thought that if we could only just get through the fires we would all be okay. Have the public holidays in January, get jobs and move on from there.

The fires were not the only thing that happened to our local community. We had floods and weeks and weeks of heavy rain that caused a lot of damage. Again, we were lucky to escape this damage on our property but we knew others that didn’t have such luck. Many had trees come down on roofs and one had a tree land on a car (the only plus here was that they were not in it at the time).

Many job applications later and nothing from anyone. It was all okay we thought, it is just the fact that it is just after the holidays. More job applications and many people who finally spoke to us said they were putting jobs on hold. At the time we were not sure why, but thought that it might be due to budgets.

Fast forward to March 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic had hit Australia, we were on the brink of a full shutdown, border closures, and schools telling parents that if you were not an essential worker then you will need to home school your child or children. We were not considered essential workers and this then meant that all three kids were home with us doing school work all the while I was trying to do some paid work. This as you imagine was very hard.

Homeschooling only lasted for about four months, I do know that other countries have had nearly a whole year of having kids at home learning. I am very happy that we didn’t have longer with all three kids at home, it was very testing to say the least….many swear words and more were uttered due to the horrible circumstances.

With the second wave that happened in Melbourne and Sydney suddenly facing more infctions everywhere, well it seems everywhere but it has been a little over a hundred new infections currently. Although it seems low the powers that be have cracked down hard due to the fact that the virus can spread quickly and infect many in a short space of time.

I was hoping that on the last day of the year that we would be in a better position, however, borders are closed to everyone from New South Wales, wearing masks is now said should be mandatory and we need to make sure to only have 5 people visit our home which includes kids and adults.

I’m very grateful to have a contract that is bringing money into the household and has made Christmas and life a little bit easier. It is nice to be working again in the corporate world, although I do miss some fun things with the kids. In a year where we desperately needed someone to work I have taken on that role to give us all a helping hand.

My relatives in the UK are having a much harder time. A full shutdown is happening and a mutation of the virus is so much more infectious. More people are in hospital and intensive care since April, and thousands and thousands are getting infected each day and sadly dying. Over 40,000 people tested positive during the last seven days in the UK. (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55494800)

I also feel for everyone in America as the numbers for infections are enormous. I must say that I feel very happy to be in a country that doesn’t tie your health care and other help to your job. In a crisis, you can lose your job and then all other benefits and assistance dry up.

2020 showed the world and big corporates that people can work from home and still do their jobs. Remote working isn’t a thing to flash in front of prospective staff or exisiting ones to hopefully keep them on or interested, it is something that actually works and remote staff have been shown to be highly engaged, do more work and yes, get more shit done!

As a mum and a person who would love more flexibility with her work life having businesses have remote roles are fantastic. I also don’t think they can go back now to saying that they cannot offer this. It is not just the young things that are working away that want to be flexible or have a remote schedule, no matter your age, where you are in life, having a flexible work life is a great thing to have and to strive for. 2020 has shown us that this can happen, it is not a new concept and one that I have always been promised at every place I have worked and yet it never ever happened or materialized until now.

See how a crisis makes things happen, sad don’t you think!

I hope that big business continues offering remote and flexible work to people. It has been proven it works and can be done, oh and it is cheaper to not have a dedicated desk for someone…. see it can have its benefits for both parties.

Being with family more this year has meant that we have spent more quality time together, and sometimes this time has been annoying. If you are a family of five and you cannot escape due to restrictions you have nowhere to go…I was keen to go to the library earlier in the year but it was closed, although now open.

I wish people wouldn’t panic over toilet paper

And don’t get me started on the stupid panic buying of toilet paper that has happened again. Yes, more idiots are stockpiling toilet paper due to new infections. I recently went to get some toilet paper to find that the aisle has yet again been emptied by people who are making sure they can go to the toilet with massive amounts of paper they are hoarding! I don’t understand why this is happening and still a thing. If you were worried about not leaving your house, wouldn’t buy bread, milk, and canned goods?

With 2021 nearly upon us I find it is a time to reflect on how lucky and grateful I am. I am very grateful for the house we live in, although it is not perfect and I want to fix so many things, it is ours, and it keeps us safe. I am grateful that we have all stayed healthy and not got the virus, I am grateful for the help we have had from the government to help us out when we had nothing and I am grateful for getting a job just before Christmas.

I did have big plans for 2020 but like everyone they didn’t occur due to the world health crisis, no money, no job, and then no way to travel. My big plans are waiting until things get better and some of my other big plans are going to happen next year in 2021.

I hope you and your family are well and safe. This year was horrible for all and I know that many are still suffering. I hope that things improve and 2021 brings you more of what you want.

Maybe Happy New Year is not what we should be saying…maybe we should be saying we survived, and we can do anything in 2021 after this year.

What are your thoughts on 2020? How did you cope during the pandemic and the economic crisis?

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