Ending 2020 the right way!
As the year draws to a close, now is a time for reflection of what has been. Unquestionably, 2020 has been a challenging year globally. We have seen total economic devastation, illness and death, deterioration in mental health and overall wellbeing, and significant changes in lifestyle, whether working from home, homeschooling, online shopping, or being forced to live in isolation. As we gear up to what we hope to be a more positive, fulfilling year, many of us are filled with emotion, doubt, and physical and mental fatigue. Rather than ending the year on a low, here’s some positivity to ending the year on a high! These highlights are by no way intended to detract from the harsh reality of life for so many of us, but to instill faith and hope that the year that awaits will be bigger, brighter and better than ever!
You can struggle and still thrive!
Even when facing bushfires, a global pandemic, and significant economic downturn, it is possible to thrive despite struggle, and it is possible to not experience wellbeing even in the absence of struggle. According to recent wellbeing insights, feelings of struggle and stress don’t have to undermine workers’ wellbeing or performance and can rather present opportunities for learning and growth.
Lower death rate from Influenza
We have seen a dramatic reduction in Influenza which could be long-lasting. In 2019, we saw 313,061 Laboratory confirmed notifications of Influenza in Australia and only 21,259 in 2020. Better yet, if we’re able to keep up hygiene practices and health precautions, the reduction in infections may be long-lasting.
How could we live without them?! From the bushfires to a global pandemic, never again will we take our essential workers for granted. Our firefighters, nurses, doctors, and caregivers have protected our country and our communities from complete devastation. They have stepped up and shown us what it means to be Australian, and instilled faith in our ongoing safety and security.
COVID has been the unexpected catalyst to the acceleration and adaptation of technology and innovation. According to Forbes, there has been a significant lift in the adoption of cloud computing, 5G, AI and machine learning, internet of things, augmented reality, and video conferencing. The acceleration in digital transformation has endless benefits for individuals and organisations, facilitating connectedness, creating efficiencies, and cost savings.
COVID-19 saw a significant decline in carbon emissions on a global scale. With carbon emissions down, we’ve seen wildlife return to their natural habitats and air quality improve exponentially. Unfortunately the sustainability of this is unknown and greatly dependent on Government's changing of policies around the use of fossil fuel and moving towards usage of cleaner energy.
With most of the world spending a large portion of 2020 in isolation, we’ve been forced to find new ways to connect. Humans are by nature social creatures, desiring relationships, contact and interaction with others. Social media, video conference platforms, and even making music from balconies in Italy are just some of the forms of connection we’re seeing as world civilisations work to fast adapt as a basic survival instinct.
The global pandemic has seen rise to corporate social responsibility, as organisations globally do their part in contributing to their community, employees, consumers and the environment. Companies are donating money, food and medical equipment to support those in need. Others are giving to healthcare workers, including free coffee at McDonald’s Australia and millions of masks from Johnson & Johnson. “I hope that companies will not only do the right thing now but that it is a real tipping point for what responsible business should look like.”, said Paul Polman, former Unilever CEO.
Possibly the greatest thing that we can take from this year is gratitude. 2020 has forced a rethink of those things we have long taken for granted; our freedom, social connections, health and wellbeing, work, family and friends. When times get tough, it's important to remind yourself of all those things you have to be grateful for. Remember that life is a blessing and those things we often take for granted are some of life's greatest luxuries.
As global citizens, it is up to each and every one of us to recognise these key learnings from 2020 and carry them forward. The positive impacts of struggle, health, our essential workers, technology and innovation, environment, and corporate social responsibility are just a few of the things we have to be thankful for and show gratitude.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present” - Eleanor Roosevelt.
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