2020: The Year That Was

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2020: The Year That Was

Shehnaz Gujral
Sunday, July 5, 2020
2020: The Year That Was

Sipping hot coffee on a rainy day in the monsoons of 2030, I plan to organize my folders in the computers. Tomorrow is the big day for me as I will retire after 30 years of dedicated service to the teaching profession.

I recreate nostalgic memories in moments. In this emotional journey as a teacher, I read the mails in my inbox, to re-experience these fruitful years. My mail box had the maximum mails on e-learning, webinar invites, e- certificates and virtual world. Yes! It was the year 2020, which made many of us tech savvy. Yes, the year of Covid-19 pandemic, an altogether different year which taught human kind more than desired. Clouds of gloom had gathered in the horizon of our minds. Everything halted and it seemed normalcy would not ever return.

Lockdown, social distancing, curfew and quarantine was the novel convention. Acceptance to the new norms was the only way out. Normality was a far-fetched dream.

Tuning is the basic human trait and we all had learnt it fast. Recreation and entertainment styles had changed. Baking, cooking, singing, fitness workout channels were in vogue. Passionate dreamers wanted to grab the platform on social media becoming overnight lockdown celebrities. Despite sickness at heart, this pandemic motivated the unquiet souls to find solace in the innermost self. Exploring hobbies and passions was the new mantra.

An unalike world with strange worries and uncertainties was evolving. Teachers and students were fraught with the virtual classes. Promoting screen time and mobile usage was ironical. Teachers lost the privacy of their lives. Living rooms were the new classrooms which had not only students but parents too attending the classes.

Teachers were assessed by the student’s family on the scale of 1 to 5 based on the parameters of convenience. Relentless dedication and uphill struggle kept the teachers going. Students too were perplexed switching from paper pen to online tests. Human touch and connectedness were missing in the New Academic session of 2020. Physical Education, Activity and Library Classes, Assemblies, Lunch breaks, Pranks and Campus life were lost somewhere. Confined in the four walls, constantly watched by the elders, hindered the emotional quotient. Yet these youngsters adapted to the prevailing times.

Migrant workers in native countries and expatriates in foreign lands slept with the fear of what next! Jobless executives, exploited staff, underpaid laborers, unsettled dues of terminated employees were a global phenomenon. Whereas front liners forfeited their folks to help families in need, the insensitive and carefree indulged in merry making at beaches and malls. Nations were tackling at the utmost to stabilize the economies. Fat cats with copious assets were over-the-top life, bourgeois scuffled and pauper pulled through the life. The world suffered threats to its existence but life never halted.

Planet Earth was in the process of cleansing. Nature was flourishing with flora and fauna. Seas and Sky were richer. Stuffy air was now fresh yet men couldn’t breathe the cooler air with masks. All this was as if we were dreaming with eyes wide open, a dream come true!

Masks, gloves and sanitizers were the new accessories. Life moved on at a sluggish pace. Elders, relatives, neighbors, friends met frequently in the conference rooms on social platforms. Relatives and friends shared the joy of special days through the virtual exchange of sweets and cakes. Weddings and mourning became personal affairs. Mankind passed these testing times steadily.

At present, School History books worldwide have units on Pandemic 2020. Though, not a distant past, yet it is a history which, young and old have correspondingly encountered. Eventually we could unfold the uncertain. Wonderstruck, we catch the bygone times.

No mask, no gloves, no quarantine… Period…. normal again!

An English teacher with an experience of twenty plus years. She is based in Kuwait for the past fifteen years.
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Express your comment on this article

Friday, July 17, 2020
Brilliant piece of writing. You have a way with words. You are absolutely right that this too shall pass and become a part of history someday. Your words give a lot of hope in these unprecedented times.

Shehnaz Gujral
Friday, July 17, 2020
Thanks all for your appreciation! It keeps me motivated.

Thursday, July 16, 2020
This piece of writing is amazing ma’am!

Thursday, July 16, 2020
Excellent expression ... words like these r so motivating in tough times of present. Keep up the gud work

Amandeep Singh
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Beautiful write up!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Wow! what a thought provoking piece of writing! You summed up the entire pandemic so wonderfully!

Amandeep Singh
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Well done!

Mrs Musarrat Parkar
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Very beautiful written......Ms shehnaz

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Beautifully penned, Shehnaaz...

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