That was one bad yearThe new year should be one of action towards making the world a better place.
Published at : December 31, 2020
Updated at : December 31, 2020 23:19
The year 2020 was a bad year for the entire world. The Covid-19 pandemic began to show its demonic character towards the beginning of the year. News of death and despair became part of everyday life as the coronavirus began to spread across the world. Some significant strides in developing vaccines against Covid-19 brought cheer to people across the world. As the year inched towards the end, vaccines began to be transported to different corners of the globe. Nepal is expected to receive its first batch of vaccines in the next two or three months. Scientists, doctors and public health practitioners are optimistic that the world will begin to return to a sense of normalcy towards the end of the year 2021.
The pandemic changed the way many countries in the world consider the role of excellent public health in national life. Most importantly, Covid-19 showed the deep divide in the world where the idea of who gets to survive or who succumbs to illnesses depends on who has access to resources. But the world also witnessed exemplary courage shown by frontline workers, including health care professionals, in fighting Covid-19. This showed that the meaning of compassion towards fellow human beings had not become redundant at all. Communities and individuals came together to help those who had lost their means of livelihood due to the pandemic even as governments in many countries neglected their citizens.
Nepal could not remain untouched by the invisible enemy. Right after the second case of coronavirus in the country was reported, Nepal underwent a lockdown that would extend for over four months. It was lifted for a while only to be imposed again, leading to a downward spiral of the economy. The pandemic, though, was not the only disruptor for Nepal. The in-fighting within the ruling Nepal Communist Party held the country hostage to political crisis throughout the year. This hampered the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The dissolution of Parliament by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on the recommendation of Prime Minister KP Oli-led Cabinet has undone years of efforts towards strengthening democracy and political culture in Nepal.
It looks like Nepal is heading towards the wrong direction as the country goes deeper into a political crisis at a time when it should be spending all its human as well as financial resources towards ensuring vaccines in time for everyone. The country has a lot to improve in terms of providing a sense of citizenship to its citizens. It is important to remember the great lessons the year gone by has taught us—fostering compassion, strengthening public services, and treating humans equally irrespective of class, caste, gender, race and all other forms of differences. If 2020 was a year of reckoning, the new year should be one of action towards making the world a better place.