Every year we see examples of the best and the worst of humans.
There are always protests, political unrest, wildfires, and catastrophes on a global scale.
But in 2020, this was multiplied by COVID.
We were thrown together in our fear.
We were kept apart in grief.
And the world as we knew it, changed.
As we approach the end of an extraordinary year, we asked what people had learned, either about themselves, those around them or just in general.
So here, in no particular order, are some insights people have shared:
- You can only bear to spend so much time in close proximity with loved ones when there are multiple Zoom meetings being held in the same household.
- People are kind.
- People can also be selfish as shown by the toilet paper wars, meat hoarding etc.
- Human scientific ingenuity is remarkable and can solve the greatest challenges when it is well funded.
- Trump is the greatest scientific brain in history (this might be a lie fuelled by fake news…)
Distancing from your family is a demonstration of love.
- We can use new technologies to find new, cheaper and better ways to work.
- I’ve learned that human life and society are vulnerable to the strength of nature.
- This economy has shown the importance of having savings, investments, and other secondary sources of income
- Help as many people as you can – you never know when you might need help in return.
- I didn’t realise how much I loved the library until I wasn’t allowed to go!
- You only regret what you don’t do. I’ve taken up motorbike riding and there’s such joy in it. I love riding along coastal roads fringed by coconut palms and seeing the white beaches and surf. COVID lockdown was the perfect time to try something new!
- I reached 60 this year and realised that my time on this planet is running out – be sure to value every moment.
Being in lockdown meant I wasn’t going out and spending much. No snacks or impulse buys. I got groceries delivered and that meant really thinking about what I was buying. Honestly, I’ve gotten more of a handle on my finances since being in lockdown, it’s amazing!
- Having to cope with depression and anxiety during COVID lockdown was the hardest thing ever. Without access to the internet and the support of family and friends near and far, I don’t think I’d have made it through.
- I’ve missed live music and dancing so much!! Dancing alone in your loungeroom just isn’t the same…
- I was made redundant smack in the middle of COVID. It felt like the end of the world. But then I was given an amazing opportunity with a new role and am loving it. I’ve never seen ‘one door closes and another opens’ in action before but I’m really grateful!
- I’ve discovered I’m more resilient than I thought I was. That was a real surprise.
- I’ve realised that what I thought was important really isn’t. Not being able to see people and hug them was hard. And not being able to travel to see my family in the US breaks my heart.
Being forced to spend time with my family wasn’t as horrible as I thought it was going to be. Sometimes it was hard. But I think we’re closer now and my sister isn’t as annoying. Mostly.
- Don’t take anything for granted. Being in lockdown gave me time to stay home and reflect which made me realise just how little we need to be happy.
- As soon as we were able, we’d go and buy coffee and sometimes a toasted sandwich from our local café. They lost some staff but were able to keep the doors open because the local community all did the same. Now they’re back to full capacity and I love that we played a part in that.
- My definition of home changed. I’ve always known it’s more than just a building. But during lockdown I was reminded that home is about who and what you surround yourself with. Because homes don’t have memories. People do.
- Before 2020, ‘self-care’ was just a phrase for other people. Now it’s a survival technique for everyone.
- There’s no limit to the number of times you can tell your family and friends that you love them. Do it often. Honestly nobody will get sick of hearing it.
We’re so lucky to be in Australia. I look at the images and stories from other parts of the world and think how incredibly grateful I am to be here, weathering this storm.
Can you relate to any of these? What have you learned that you’d like to add?
Download the article Things we’ve learned in 2020