The year that was called twenty-twenty/2020.

* This essay is dedicated to all the doctors and other health-care personnels and also to all the policemen and menial workers who lost their lives unexpectedly while carrying out their duties of treating the covid-19 victims and keeping safe the unafflicted.

By the end of the year 2019, the people’s republic of china (or simply China) was unofficially and unintentionally transporting the corona (later named covid-19, due to its emergence in the year 2019) virus to various countries of the world through its trade and also, through the passengers going out of, or passing through, Wuhan city.

Nature as we all know, oftentimes show glimpses of future happenings at an earlier time so that humans may have the time and also, the perception, alertness and preparations to take appropriate actions in advance (perhaps leading to the utterance of the English proverb, “coming events cast their shadows before”). But seldom has it been recorded that humans were wise enough to take such hints from Nature and so avoided one or more such disasters in the succeeding periods. The killing of an Iranian leader by the USA in Iraq in the first week of January 20-leading to the shooting and destruction of an Ukrainian civilian airlines by Iran as a retaliatory action, earthquake in Turkey, landslides in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), eruption of a volcano in the Philippines, and floods in Indonesia-all happening in the first month of the year 2020 were good enough symptoms by mother nature of the grossly terrifying days (that could be packed into a year) that awaited humans in the year 2020 making it eligible to be declared the first inferior year of this millennium.

As soon as the countries were locked down internally and externally, manufacturing, trade and commerce all came to a standstill. This of course created a devastating cyclic chain reaction in all the exchequers of almost all the governments, especially the underdeveloped ones which saw a decline in their earnings (received through taxation, income from their enterprises and, gifts and grants) but, increased expenditures in the form of setting up of hospitals and health care centres equipped with ventilators and ICUs and supplying foodgrains and fuel to its populace below the poverty line for free. All these activities bled the exchequers of all the nations very badly. In India the government declared full payment without work (resulting in no production>no incomes>no taxes) to its employees in the various departments and public sector enterprises (PSEs). This only aggravated the problem of loss of funds of the government. Naturally under such stressed conditions public welfare works like constructions and repairs of public places and properties were shelved. Food commodities like milk and solids were lost in huge quantities all over the world. In many places, poultry farmers gave away their fowls freely at the onset of the lockdown. Fruits and vegetables were seen rotting in their fields and trees. So when the lockdown opened, the country saw an unprecedented rise in food prices. This is understandable as the farmers lost much of their income during the locked-down days. In fact save for the government salaried class, all the people of India belonging to the unorganized sector felt the blow of the lockdown financially. The blow was so great that in regard to some sectors like insurance, tourism and transportation, hospitality sector, etc. even towards the end of the year, their business have not reached the lukewarm stage.

In compliance to the diminish of the income of the government coupled with mounting expenditure (as cited above) many public and private businesses, PSEs, firms as well as individuals came forward to help the central and the state governments. Remarkable among them were the Tata Sons, the Indian railways, the LICI, the Vedanta group, Mahindra & Mahindra, L & T, the ITC, to name a few who donated in hundreds of crores to help the central government to tide over this fall. In the same way, people from the sports world like cricketers Surely Raina, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli as well as personalities from the tinsel world like Amitabh Bachan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Sabyasachi Mukherjee to name a few donated in crores to various state governments and the Central government. President R.N.Kovind along with the Parliamentarians donated their one month’s salary as a help. All this show the spontaneity and large-heartedness of the Indians in helping the government in tiding over this fall in its income.

Covid-19 poured cold, really cold water over all the religious and social festivals of India and the world in the year 2020. True, the Hindus could get away with the lohri, pongal, the makar sangkranti, the saraswati puja and the holi, the Jews with their Purim and nawroz and the young all the world over with the Valentine’s day. But as soon as the lockdown started the Hindus missed the ram navami, the Bengali and the Assamese their new year, as also the baisakhi, the Hanuman jayanti and the rath yatra, the guru purnima, janmasthami, raksha bandhan, onam, the durga and the kali puja, the navratri and the ayyappan to name a few festivals in the year. Similarly, the Muslims their Eid ul fitr and the Eid ul adha, the Christians their good Friday, Easter and the Halloween, the Jews their Passover, Shavuot, Rose hashanah and the yom Kippur, the Buddhist their Buddha purnima, the Sikhs their baisakhi, birthdays of gurus Nanak and Angad Dev, martyrdoms of gurus Arjan Dev and Tegh Bahadur were some of the festivals missed out by these communities during 2020 due to the restrictions in celebrating them, all over the world, due to the pandemic. In the same way, all fool’s day on April 1, the international labour day on may 1, the international friendship day and India’s independence day on August 15, the Gandhi jayanti on October 2, the teacher’s day on September 5, the convocations and annual weeks in every educational institutions-all these were cancelled during 2020 due to the pandemic. The non-observance of all the above religious festivals along with their associated rituals proved the point that religion and its various rituals are unimportant and unnecessary in perceiving God or even, to invoke his Mercy and blessings even to his believers. That the highly venerated places of worships belonging to all the religions all over the world were left empty (I.e, devoid of its believers and their priests) during this period simply vindicate the point that God doesn’t reside in these places and that, one doesn’t need to visit them to say their prayers and perform their offerings to please him (or even to see him-literally).

As in all the other years, nature, in addition to her affliction of mankind through the virus of covid 19, scourged mankind through her other various types of natural disasters (N.Ds) also. As we have come to know earlier, during the first month of the year itself some natural disasters struck in different parts of the world showing synonyms of the succeeding ones that were to happen as the year progressed. So in tune with those symptoms, humans witnessed many various big and small natural disasters. For example, cyclones and hurricanes in odisha, West Bengal, mumbai and, in the Philippines and, the latest ‘cyclone Yasa’, a category-5 cyclone which ravaged Fiji in December of this year. Also mention must be made of earthquakes in Turkey and Mexico, Bush and forest fires in Australia and California (in the USA), heavy rains in Japan and locust attacks in six States of India were some of the few natural disasters that shook the world in 2020. Again, on the 29th.of December, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Croatia. Till the 30th., seven people have been confirmed dead along with extensive property damage in this earthquake. As all the countries of the world ‘reeled’ under the impact (and the subsequent financial and human loss) afflicted by the covid 19 virus, these N.Ds acted as a ‘fuel to the already existing/burning fire of human woes and sufferings.’

However, as the momentum of the lockdown was increasing and gripping all the countries in its consequences, there occurred a counter incident which shocked the whole world. Wuhan in China which was held as the epicenter of the covid 19 virus was declared ‘infection Free’ on April 8th.when on that day no new cases of covid 19 were reported there. As soon as this was confirmed, restrictions were lifted off and vehicular traffic restarted. As soon as it was opened, people in large numbers were seen leaving the city in planes and trains after being locked down for about two and a half months. This only proved how China, although being blamed as the initiator/triggerer and transporter of the covid 19 virus, with great discipline and perseverance, contained and stopped the spread of this disease. No wonder, fireworks were lit and celebrations ensued within that country when this good news was spread.

India got a good share of protests and agitations mainly in the first quarter of 2020, filtered from the last of December of last year emanating from the introduction of the citizenship amendment Bill (CAB) which was converted to the citizenship amendment act (CAA). Anti CAA protests held in shaheen Bagh of Delhi was cleared after the country was declared ‘locked-down’ on the 25th.while in Assam it was cancelled off before the lockdown seeing the gravity of the situation. In the USA following the death of George Floyd in may 2020 during a police custody, a series of protests under the banner ‘Black Lives Matter’ rocked the USA for months. It was so severe that president Trump had to take shelter for an hour in the bunker of the White House after protesters protesting in front of it turned violent. Many ascribe his loss of the presidential elections to the inapt handling of this incident. In India from the last week of November farmers of punjab and haryana have been staging protests against a new agriculture ‘reform’ Bill which they fear will bring the multi-national companies into their produce and deprive them of the minimum support price (MSP) guaranteed by the government for sale of agricultural products which they say will bring ruination to them.

It has already been narrated how the new year brought in tensions between the countries after the USA killed an Iranian in the first week of January, 20. In November, one of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizaded was killed by alleged opposition group ‘mujahideen-e-kgalq’ and israel on 27/11/20. This led to an escalation of the tensions between Iran and, the USA and its Allies. On April 20, about seven militants from pakistan infiltrated over jammu and kashmir (J&K) by crossing the LOC. The results as expected were fatal and on the 3rd.of may an encounter took place with them in handwara with our security forces. India lost five of its defence personnel while two militants were eliminated. One of them was a pakistani national called haider. This only exposed pakistan’s nastiness and her covert war with India through her citizens moulded into terrorists. In mid June, China became the aggressor against India once again. Stealthily, its soldiers entered into Indian territories in sub-sector North, North East of ladakh. An engagement took place with Indian soldiers which resulted in the loss of twenty Indian soldiers including a commanding officer (C.O). But based on open source satellite imagery, defense experts and some Indian officials said that this occupation by the people’s liberation army/Chinese army (PLA) at Pangong Tso, Hot Springs, the Galwan Valley and the depsang plains which are held to be Indian territories and, preceded by a small presence of them accross the line of actual control (LOC) in Sub sector North, n.e of ladakh was not an overnight activity. This diminished the works and importance of the RAW and the NTRO and brought their criticisms when they couldn’t catch this movement which was thought to be happening from mid April. This also highlights the clumsiness, incompetence, inability and incapacity of the Indian secret service agencies which are (in)famous throughout history and only highlight their another contribution to the country-ubdependablity (on them) in all times. Moving out from India into a little to the Northwest but remaining inside our continent, disregard to the prevailing scourge to humanity by mother nature, nations Azerbaijan and Armenia again quarrelled (which turned out into a war in no time) over the disputed area of nogorno-karabakh. After about six weeks of warring Russia brokered a peace deal between them and brought the war to a close. But many people in general and Azeris (people of Azerbaijan) in particular thought of it only as a victory. Many ascribed this victory of Azerbaijan to its innovation of its arsenal and armoury incorporating latest state of the art weapons especially the Israeli made ‘IAI HAROP’, a suicide drone which self-destructs upon hitting the target and ‘M095DPICM’ cluster munitions and the Armenian loss to, its ‘holding on to’ obsolete weaponry purchased especially from Russia. This has emphasized the need of every country of the world, especially India, to overhaul (modernise) their arsenals and weaponry to the latest state-of-the-art technology and even purchase it from others if unable to produce itself.

Either due to the pandemic or, due to self-killing, the year 2020 saw the demise of many well known or prominent personalities. Some of them were Motilal Vora, ex-chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Lalji Tandon, former governor of Madhya Pradesh, Tarun Gogoi, ex-chief minister of Assam, President Pranab Mukherjee, Union Minister of State for railways Suresh Angadi, Prince khalifa of Bahrain, former Egyptian President Hoshni Mubarak, former Japanese prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, cricketer Shivraj Chauhan, basketballer Cliff Robinson, Olympian Raffer Johnson, hockey player Balbir Singh, writer John le Carre, artist and architect Satish Gujral, actors rishi kapoor, Sean Connery, irfan Khan, shriram lagoo, susant Singh Rajput, footballers Diego maradona and Carlton Chapman, Singer S.P.Balasubramanium, and a few T.V Actors took leave from this earth this year leaving a vacuum in their respective Fields.

The world was eagerly waiting for the last four years to witness the mega sporting event in the earth held quadrennialy-the Olympics. But the covid 19 pandemic poured cold waters on the expectations of the players, organizers and the spectators which led to its postponement for a year. In the same way, quadrennial mega football events namely, the Copa-america cup and the Euro2020 were also postponed for one year due to the prevailing pandemic. In the same way, the greatest and premier professional tennis event, ‘The Wimbledon Championships’ which can also be called ‘the all-white tennis championships’ (from the totally and purely White clothes the contestants in it are required to wear) was also cancelled this year. In addition to the dejections of the contestants who would have taken part in these championships, the cancellation and postponement of these championships also entailed the loss of millions of rupees of income by the organizers of these events. Of course by the end of the year, there arose good news for India in the sporting world; Indian men and women boxers were able to secure three gold medals, one silver medal and three bronze medals for our country in the boxing world championships held in December in Germany.

Since the breakdown of the covid-19 pandemic last year {(declared as a global health problem and a pandemic by the world health organization (WHO) in January 30, 2020}, governments and private medicine firms were making all out efforts to find a cure to this virus and also, a vaccine to protect the human race from it. But easier said than done! and nature, it seems, is doing her level best in preventing humans in finding a cure against it. As till December 2020, no sure cure against it has been invented or developed while only three vaccines have been found worthwhile among a group of 12 players. The contenders are, the Ad26.CoV2S of Johnson and Johnson, the mRNA4273 of Moderna, the Tozinameran of Pfizer, the AZD1222 of the university of Oxford, the Covaxin of Bharat Biotech, the GamCOVID-Vac/Sputnik V of Gamaleya, the EpiVac Corona of Vector institute of Russia, the BBIBP-CorV of Sinopharm, the CoronaVac of Sinovac, NVX-Cov2373 of Novavax, the Ad5-nCoV of Cansino Biologics and the Baccilus Calmetta-Guerin of Murdoch. Great Britain was the first country to start the drive for a full fledged vaccination which she started on 08/12/20 and had completed vaccinating more than six lakhs of people by 20/12/20. For this it used the Pfizer Tozinameran vaccine which was also approved by Canada (as a start), Ireland, Mexico and Chile. On the 30th., Britain gave the permission to use the Oxford-AZ vaccine after it saw a surge of new cases in December. Parallelly, it became the first country in the world to approve the Oxford-AZ vaccine in the world. At a later stage Canada will be using the moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine for people of 18 years and above. Vaccination in Ireland will start on 30/12/20. Turkey is doing trials with China’s Sinova Biotech. Morocco has given the green signal to China’s Sinopharm’s BBIBP-CorV and Oxford’s AZD1222. Bahrain and the UAE have expressed their desire to use the Sinopharm’s vaccine while the vector institute’s EpiVac Corona was used by Russia in November while it said that it will use the Sputnik V for people of over 60 years. In India, an expert committee will decide the emergency use of this vaccine to be made in collaboration by the serum institute of India (SII).

However bad news, pouring cold water again at human hopes and efforts, surfaced towards the end of the year in the form of reburst of the virus in some parts of the world. In new Delhi of India there was a rise in the positive cases in the month of November which confirmed this. The Central government ascribed it to the increase of human movement, especially during the festivals and in public places and transports while C.M A.Kejriwal blamed it on the rising pollution level. In December, England saw a spurt in new cases which made the government declare a lockdown for the whole country from December 22 but relaxed it from the 23rd. to the 27th. for the celebrations of the Christmas. The independent sage, a group of experts (in England) has called for a national lockdown and the closure of schools for at least a month. In Maharashtra too the state government imposed night curfew from 11pm.onwards till 6am.of the following day which will be observed till January 5th. of 2021. But the state government has totally taken up the curfew on the 31st. of December in view of the new year eve’s celebrations. The world including India cannot bear the burden of another lockdown and so it depends upon Providence to either send humanity a cure or, a vaccine to save the human race from hunger and affliction (generated from the lockdowns), if not from death, during this pandemic.

In my personal front I like the other non-salaried people (save for pharmacy owners), had a very bad year. Perhaps the symptoms of an inferior 2020 (described at the start of this essay) had also been earmarked for me too which I couldn’t guess beforehand. So as a prelude to the loss (literally) to my business in this year, I was deprived of any new business, both in the life and in the general sector, from December 2019 onwards. And from March 20 the condition only deteriorated and continued till November 2020 when only in the last month of 2020 I was able to introduce my first new business of this year. Nevertheless the lockdown enabled me to do another thing; opening a blog at WordPress.com.

The logo of WordPress above.

From some two years previously when I was first advised by one of my friends to open a blog as a corresponding to my hobby of writing, I was speculating on opening a blog but, did not find the courage nor the occasion to open it. But after the lockdown set in and life came to a standstill, I opened a blog choosing a free domain at WordPress and tired to put some words into it whenever finding the chance. During this year, I also managed to complete my third book ‘Hemlataa’ which I published at ‘kdpamazon.com.’ All in all, everybody along with me suffered greatly during this year financially and some even by loss of their family members while at the same time learned the bitter but useful lesson that nature is superior than existences; is unpredictable and now-and-again will throw cold waters in our plans, hopes and aspirations; that death comes silently and swiftly and also is truly a great leveller and a great unifier; that religion and its associated rituals are useless and only a waste of time, resources, energy and efforts and that-to perceive God we have to come and think out of our religious standards but with concepts and methods of our own (the search which I think will continue lifetime for an individual and, for eternity for all mankind). Last but not the least, wishing a happy, inspiriting and optimistic new year numbered 2021 to all the readers. AMEN!!

BYE, THE FIRST INFERIOR YEAR OF THIS MILLENNIUM, BYE. (An image of the sun as it set for the last time in this year, captured from our rooftop).

https://www.amazon.in/b/ref=as_li_qf_br_sr_tl?ie=UTF8&node=1983518031&tag=dutt0123-21&camp=3638&creative=24630&linkCode=ur2&linkId=8e55c6e5a0f70c3e0aecd2489dc9eeab dear viewers, the above is a link of online seller Amazon.com for men’s shoes. If you are interested in looking into the different types of men’s shoes available in the market, then you can click the above link. Regards. Have a good time and a great year ahead.

Published by indrajyoti dutt

Hi folks, I'm an ordinary guy who sells both life and general insurance to earn a living. I also have interest in writing and reading and so have opened this blog at WordPress. I hope my writings and other posts will be noticed by you and will also be commented upon to make them better and entertaining in the near future. Wishing the best to you all out there. Have a great time.

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Welcome to my net-i-niche at duttz.in

About experiences, happenings, ideas, personal essays, random writings, etc.

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Atavist Magazine

About experiences, happenings, ideas, personal essays, random writings, etc.

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Welcome to my net-i-niche at duttz.in

About experiences, happenings, ideas, personal essays, random writings, etc.

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Atavist Magazine

About experiences, happenings, ideas, personal essays, random writings, etc.

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

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