By James Patrick

The year 2020 was a year full of many negative events both in our individual lives and in our national lives. We started the year with alot of high hopes and lots of things we would love to achieve before the year runs out. Many plans were made. Many goals were set by people all around the world. Some planned to get married, some planned to buy cars, houses, change accommodation, gain admission into higher institution. Other people planned to open new businesses, set up companies, get a good job, travel all around the world for site seeing etc. But right from the commencement of the year 2020, we had signs of a year that would be packed full of challenges, still no one could have predicted that most part of the year 2020 would be spent indoors for many people across many nations of the world. No one foresaw a year that most advance country of the world would be running helter shelter looking to cure a deadly virus that kills in cold blood. No one ever knew that we would have to deal with a year full of unprecedented disaster that almost brought the world to its knees. No body thought that 2020 would be another year many nations of the world would have to confront another economic recession caused by the total lockdown imposed for many months, that halted most productive activities in a country. Most economy of advance nations recorded less than 50% in their GDP all through the year 2020. Many nations like Nigeria had to go cap their hands, borrowing funds from international financial organization just to fund the budgets for the year. Apart from the almighty China, there is no Nation on this planet earth that was not drastically effected, economically, by the total lockdown caused by covid 19. 2020 was that year many never wish they experience again, not in this life and not in the life after. A lot of people lost their loved ones. There are families who lost more than four to five people due to covid 19. I read of a family of nine people in the united state of America who lost four of their family member within a month due to corona virus. 2020 was that year people were just dropping death on the street, at home, in their place of work and even in worship centers. Italy, which at one time was the epicenter of the virus witnessed alot of deaths. At some points during the year 2020, human beings were dropping death like flies on the street of Italy due to the virus. Beside the enormous number of death recorded due to corona virus, millions of people lost their means of livelihood. Many people lost their jobs, their businesses. Companies were abruptly closed down due to low patronage. If there is any industry that is badly affected by the advent of the corona virus, it is the transportation industry. A compulsory lockdown was imposed in many part of the world, so those who are in the transportation industry could not operate due to the restriction in movements of people and goods from one place to another. Those in the aviation industry got so badly hit that some flight industries have declared bankruptcy already while some other are badly in need of government intervention if the must keep business afloat. Most of the airlines companies have retrenched their workers while others have reduced the take home pay of many staff to 50% percents. Most airline operation here in Nigeria have doubled the prices of travel fare just to keep on surviving during this period of uncertainties. You may say that people were already suffering even before covid 19 came on board. yes! I agree with you, but when the LOCKDOWN started, the suffering doubled, the hardship doubled, also we saw alot of people who were average Nigerians and could afford to feed themselves became beggars, begging for what to feed their families with. Majority of the people living in most African countries have one source of income which demands that they go out daily to eke out a living for themselves. Most people from this part of the world feed from hand to mouth – if they don’t go out to hustle for the day, I means they would not feed for that very day. This is the reality of an African man and this was why many died of hunger and frustration rather than from the virus here in Africa. Because they couldn’t go out to search for their daily bread, some became restless and committed suicide while other resort into stealing and looting of food items. The year 2020 saw alot of family braking up. Many peaceful couples who have been doing well and living joyfully saw the end of their blissful union as a result of the lockdown caused by covid 19. Divorce cases increase to over 100%. Domestic violence too was not left out as we witnessed alot of husbands beating their wives to stupor and some children being molested by their own family members. What about our spiritual lives, for the first time in the history of this country, many Christians stayed away from their churches for over three months while some Muslims stayed away from their mosque too trying to prevent the spread of corona virus by avoiding large crowd gathering or maintaining social distance. Those who thought they could not stay one week without going into their worship centers to call on God stayed for months without worshiping God inside their worship centers.
Many people do pray and wish for something to happen again in their life time or for an event to repeat itself again, but certainly, nobody is ever going to pray for the year 2020 to ever repeat itself again – not even in their dreams. Thank God the year is over and many of us look forward to the year 2021 with great hope and high expectations. We look forward to a corona free, lockdown free and disaster free 2021. We do not want anything that would lock us down indoors. We do not want anything that would lead to loosing our means of livelihood. We do not want anything that could prevent us from going into our worship centers to pray to God. We do not want anything that would take the precious lives of our loved once. In short, we do not want the year 2020 to repeat itself again! Happy new year. Thanks.

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