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By Esezobor Ohimai, Benin City

I can’t wait for December 31 to exclaim what a year 2020 was. It’s indeed a peculiar year that even Prophets who usually claim to know what will happen in the new year did not see it coming the way it did, despite the claims by some to have made indirect reference to what happened.

I remember buying the Year in 2020 published by The Economists and there was no hint of a likely pandemic when I went through the copy during the lockdown.

For once, we were all shocked by the reality of how helpless the world could be due to just one development we may not have immediate solution to.

2020 started like a normal year after the Happy new year celebrations, but before we all knew what was in the offing, COVID19 sneaked in on us from Wuhan in China where the first case was reported in December 31, 2019 and it became a global health crisis like never before; at least in our lifetime.

We are told a similar pandemic occurred over 100 years ago, but we didn’t see this coming . At various times and in different parts of the world, there have been major health crisis like HIV/AIDS, SARS, Ebola with devastating consequences, but nothing like the Coronavirus that humbled the world.

Not even the superpowers were spared and at a time, the world was locked down . Even now, some of the developed nations are going through second round of Lockdown.

Who would have thought that for weeks, Nigerians like in other parts of the world would be confined to their homes. Companies would be shut, flights banned, schools closed and other strict social distancing measures enforced.

Working from home is not completely new, but it became the new normal and work will never be the same again.

We coped with things we thought we couldn’t do without and our lifestyles have been altered.

Sadly many, the high and mighty, the middle class and the common man, died. The disease did not discriminate. People who could afford the best of healthcare succumbed to the virus.

Combating the spread of the virus was not easy for the government as some, including religious leaders did not admit the enormity of the crisis we are dealing with. We should be glad that the doom projection of the impact of the disease in Africa has not been right, but we can’t dismiss that we had our own share of the grave impact of the disease.

Given the global crisis which the world experienced in 2020 with no one sure who would survive it or not, memories of the year will be unforgettable.

COVID-19 is not over with the worry over increasing number of persons testing positive across the country, but the year will remind us of irreparable losses. Lives that were lost, the impact on the economy that resulted in job losses, unbudgeted expenses and many others aftermath.

So many things have been held down due to COVID-19 and will can only hope we will soon be able to return to our pre-COVID-19 days while still retaining the lessons learnt.

For now, we still have to abide by the various protocols and guidelines to prevent second wave of the disease if we really want to have a Happy 2021.

Mr. Esezobor Felix

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