Around about this time of the year I look back on the year that is in it’s last throes, and I have to decide what is newsworthy and what is better left forgotten. 2020 would probably be best lumped into the “better left forgotten” category as it was one heck of a disaster. The dominating theme throughout this year could be summed up in one word:
As I write this post Gloucestershire has been put into “Tier 4” lockdown, along with other portions of the UK. The Coronavirus has continued to rampage through continents leaving behind a trail of death, ruined economies, unemployment and civil unrest. The UK has started to vaccinate the most vulnerable in society but it may be too late to prevent even more deaths. The reality of this pandemic can be seen in the numbers, and I have more or less kept a running list since my first covid blogpost way back in March 2020. Unfortunately I did not record the global numbers but did capture the UK numbers as at 24/03/2020. Coronavirus Cases: 6,650 Deaths: 335 Recovered: 135. Tonight the numbers look very differently, with 82,739,879 cases worldwide and 1,804,995 deaths. I do not know whether I even contemplated seeing numbers like this 9 months down the line.
I had my fair share of woes too. In February Tewkesbury flooded (again) and that forced me to cancel my trip to London at very short notice. The funny thing is that on the day before Christmas we sat once again with floods, and this time around the water was even higher than it was in February.
And there went all my grandiose plans down the loo. I had wanted to return to Stratford and even explore Circencester assuming I was able to organise transport to the city. That never happened. The usual Mini Steam Fair, Medieval Festival, Mop Fair and Vintage Car Festival were all cancelled in town as the high street depopulated.
In June the world was shaken by the abuse of power that ended the life of George Floyd. “I Can’t Breathe” became more than the last cries of a dieing man, but a global call against racism in all of it’s forms. Parts of America erupted in violence and the continued abuse of power by police was thrown into the spotlight on numerous occasions. The situation was exacerbated by the POTUS who showed his true colours throughout the year. Now, having been voted out of office he continues to cling to power, doing his best to overturn the election results. It is the sort of thing I expect from African dictators and not from the “leader” of the Western World.
By the end of June we were coming out of lockdown, eyes blinking and hopeful that we had beaten the virus. In July I ended up in hospital with what was seemingly a badly infected bladder and that left me exhausted and in a fragile state. I am still not 100% convinced that I was suffering from a bladder issue, but a follow up to the urologist did not happen. I also tested negative for covid at that point.
Towards the middle of August the Embassy reopened and I was able to get an appointment for my passport renewal at short notice. Fortunately I had everything prepared so was able to make a trip to London at the end of August. The biggest surprise was how easily the renewal process happened and just over three months later I had a replacement passport! It was even more surprising to see how empty London was.
By now Autumn was not too far off and the fear was that the virus would surge as we headed into the colder Winter months. That fear resulted in the UK going into lockdown again in September. A new variant of the virus has resulted in most of the UK now heading into what is known as Tier 4 tomorrow. Even South Africa has gone back into lockdown as the numbers there surge too. At the time of writing the situation looks as follows:
And yet there are those who deny that there is a problem and that it is all 5G/Bill Gates/George Soros/Aliens/A hoax (Delete which is not applicable)
As we headed into the last days of the year Winter storms started to dominate our headlines, and last Monday Tewkesbury had it’s first flood and snow of the season.
The UK also managed to thrash out a deal with the EU at the last minute and consequently we have left. Bye Bye Brussels.
Who did we loose this year? Once again we lost a lot of important and not so important people during the year. Amongst others we lost Chuck Yeager, Dame Barbara Windsor, John le Carré, Sean Connery, Diego Maradona, Kenny Rogers, Honor Blackman, Little Richard, Dame Vera Lynn, Ian Holm, Peter Green, Diana Rigg, Eddie Van Halen and Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
The year has one more day to run, and knowing how things go I would not be surprised if these last few hours do not turn up yet another headline event. I hold thumbs in the meantime.
DRW © 2020 – 2021. Created 30/12/2020