2020 was a year that kept people apart in many ways — borders were closed, hotels, airports, and businesses were shut down, schools and economic activities were disrupted. The difficulties of the past several months amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis cannot be explained in a few sentences. Many lost their jobs amid a widespread hunger crisis. Many are also mourning the demise of their loved ones. We cannot forget the nationwide peaceful protest against police brutality that sent so many people to their early graves, the natural disasters, racial discrimination, and the political tension that rocked the entire year.
If we dwell on the hardships and difficulties of 2020 and not take the time to reflect in the hope of a new year, we would forever be weighed down and have a dampened spirit. We are left with questions like, how do we go from here? How do we maintain our sanity in a chaotic world? How do we survive the hardships of the pandemic?
We are going into a new year and the struggle to survive is real, but we must not give up. Without the night, we can never see the stars. We must never stop the dreams of a better future. We all have fears – fear of the unknown, fear of losing our health and job security, fear of losing our loved ones. Everyone has experienced fear at a particular point in their lives. However, we must learn to overcome our fears.
Sometimes, you will get tired of staying strong but don’t be unnecessarily hard on yourself. Sometimes, we seem to forget acts of kindness go a long way. Let’s be kind to ourselves and one another.
As the world begins to experience the second wave of the pandemic, let’s not forget to extend our hands of love to the vulnerable in the society. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed structural inequalities in society. The government recently announced stricter pandemic restrictions. We, as a society, must ensure that the poorest and the most vulnerable in the society must not lack the food and income their families need to survive. There are numerous charitable organizations we can make donations to or volunteer at charities.
The COVID-19 virus does not spread on its own, it spreads when people move around. I encourage us to adhere strictly to the preventive measures. Paramedics around the world are putting their lives at risk to provide medical care to the infected in already overstretched health facilities, the least we can do to support them is to remain safe and protect ourselves.
We also need to pray for peace and security in various war-torn regions of the world, including Nigeria. With the high rate of banditry, rampant kidnapping, and insurgency, people can no longer afford the luxury of sleep. Many lives have been lost to the battle against terrorism. The government must address the security challenges and position the country as a safe place to live.
Let’s keep hope alive and stay safe. We are going to be alright.
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