Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
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Woohoo, only four sleeps to Christmas! Only eleven sleeps until 2021.
Few of us could have predicted, just 12 short months ago, just how much drama we'd see in 2020. If ever there was an Annus horribilis, 2020 was probably it.
Covid 19 cut a swathe through the world's population and industry, infecting almost 80 million so far and killing more than 1.5 million of those, with little indication that things are yet under control.
Although New Zealand hasn't suffered the rates of infection and death that most other nations have, we've not been untouched by the effects if thso pandemic. Our tourism industry has been decimated and international trade severely affected in a decidedly negative way.
The great lockdown of Autumn 2020 will likely live on in the stories told by parents to children and grandparents to grandchildren for many decades to come.
We've seen the rise of "WOKE"ness to levels of utter lunacy as the past injustices based on race and gender are weaponised against anyone who does not take the knee or confess, often to crimes they have not committed.
It is almost as if some people feel a need to be guilty of something in order to justify their existence and others feel the need to be a victim for the same reasons.
All we can hope is that this is, like so many things, simply a pendulum that has swung far beyond its normal range and will, in the fullness of time, eventually swing back to the point where we are judged for who we are rather than as a stereotype and no longer held accountable for the sins of previous generations over which we had zero control or influence.
I wonder how much of mankind's bizzare behaviour this year was down to the effects of CV19.
We are strange and complex creatures who do not deal at all well with having to face our mortality in the way a pandemic pushes such things upon us. Has the spectre of possible death forced us to go all repentant and confess to crimes that, in so many cases, we didn't even commit?
It also appears as if we're entering a new cold-war, with many nations rattling sabres, engaging in significant subterfuge and launching cyberattacks on their politial or economic foes. China and the USA are very much facing off at an economic level, with trade sanctions and restrictions starting to bite in many areas. China has done the same to Australia, banning the importation of many Aussie export staples such as coal and iron ore.
However, there have been good aspects to 2020, albeit many have gone unnoticed, overshadowed by the darker sides.
We've seen quite a few successful space exploration missions take place (and a few failures) with China bring back 2Kg of moon-rock being the latest of these.
The pharmecutical industry has shown just how quickly it can move to create vaccines when it needs to, having rolled out more than three such preventative treatments for CV19 already.
And, if you're reading this, obviously YOU survived one of the most testing years in recent history so congratulations!
So where to for 2021?
What will the future bring?
Was 2020 just a warm-up for worse to come?
Let's hope not -- but tune in for the first edition of Aardvark Daily next year when I'll be making my usual predictions for the future, probably with the same level of accuracy I use when picking lotto numbers.
In the meantime, this is the last edition for 2020 -- I've got a lot of stuff to do before the New Year so, unless something earthshattering happens between now and the New Year (no, that's not an invitation for such calamity), I will be taking a break to focus on friends and family for a couple of weeks.
To all my readers, some of who have been reading this daily drivel for more than quarter of a century now, make the most of your holidays, live each day as if it's your last and please be safe. Remember, CV19 is a tricky bastard and we won't know until afterwards if it finds our way back into the community so let's remember that *anyone* could be a carrier -- including yourself.
Merry Christmas and I'll spot ya all in 2021.
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