I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.
by Morak Babajide-Alabi
The year 2020 has slipped into history. It has gone down as the most challenging year in recent times like no other. None of the past years has any semblance of what the world witnessed in 2020. It was a year when the unexpected happened. There was little or no solution to the numerous challenges that came along. Apart from the lack of credible solutions, individuals who should be beacons of hope decided to stand facts upside down and cause more confusion.
There was nothing in the air, the water or in psychic books that alerted us of the dangers that inhabited the year. Of all the annual prophetic proclamations none was a million mile near what the year revealed to us. In the process, spiritual men and women were labelled “gambling prophets and prophetesses.” 2020 walked against the prophecies and forecast of prosperity, good health, booming economy, etc declared at the Crossover services and by world-renowned economists.
2021 is here. We bid 2020 a deserved farewell. We all have stories to tell about the year, but we would prefer to forget them in a hurry, as they are not palatable. 2020 was a year of dismal tales of death, homelessness, hopelessness, debt, disillusionment and many unspeakable experiences. It was the year a strange virus mingled with human beings and turned the world upside down. It was 2020 but the pandemic was labelled COVID-19, for a reason.
The genesis of the virus was in 2019. The disease took its root in the Chinese city of Wuhan towards the end of 2019. The cause of the virus is currently unclear as no scientific or historical information is available. The politicians have turned this into something else, and those who should educate us are defensive. While the virus mutated, China was more concerned with tidying up its closet than communicating accurate information to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In hindsight, 2020 did not start on a kind note. There were a few events that we overlooked. The unprovoked assassination of the Iranian General Quasem Soleimani by the United States of America’s troop on January 3 should have given us an insight. We failed to see this, instead, we debated the sincerity or otherwise of Iran to the “Iran Nuclear Deal.”
2020 was a year of lockdowns. For the first time in modern history, cities, counties and countries were closed with strict instructions for inhabitants to stay behind doors. It was to curtail the rampaging virus. As humans found a new way to do things, our selfishness showed. We hoarded everything we could, including toilet rolls. We fought each other to wheel our overloaded trolleys through checkouts into crammed car parks. During the lockdown, we became strangers to ourselves. We peeped through our windows to see what the outside world was.
In 2020, racism came into play. As if the world did not know, individuals took it upon themselves to educate us that no two races are equal. It was challenging to understand the working of their minds by refusing to accept there is a glaring disparity in the “treatment” of whites and blacks. We listened, unbelievably, to people who defended the killing of individuals based on their colour. They argued the stop and search of black people and deliberate blockage of opportunities were for their benefits. We shook our heads in surprise as respected people hide behind one finger to defend slavery, racism and inequalities.
2020 was a year when friends, neighbours and co-workers could hardly contain their bigotry and racism. The sad killing of the American, George Floyd, by members of the US Police started new conversations. It was comical as white people attempted to join and take control of conversations. It was a mistake. The move exposed them. In their wisdom, they questioned, “why only Black Lives Matter?” They ignored the context in which the words are used. Some throw in the “All Lives Matter” to take the shine off the argument. They refused to answer the question – “When had white lives not matter?”
Some of them asked, “What do these black people want again?” These believe too much freedom is given to the black population. “At least there is no more slavery,” they said. Yes, it is factual, but what blacks go through in the so-called developed white-dominated countries can be worse than slavery.
These lots have the social media platform to preach their gospel. As the decent world demanded racial equality, the others used their keyboards to churn out hateful words. They started their posts with “my neighbour is black.” Or “my work colleague is black and we go along.” How “along” do they go? Stereotyping people does not mean you respect their human rights. By assuming your colleague is limited in intellect by his colour is no “getting along.” It is racism.
The employers join the hypocrisy. They came with their “diversity programmes.” They remembered the long-forgotten black employees and decided to send out emails to them. They went one word short of accepting institutional racism. They refused to acknowledge they had policies that keep black and minorities’ staff down. But it was all to save face. They knew the systematic racism that had kept sharp and smart employees at the same spot for years. 2020 was an opportunity for employers to pretend they care.
It was all a ruse. Did we see through these? Yes, the world did. The Black Lives Matter campaign has quiet down a bit. So also are the many lofty ideas floated at the time.
As it is usual for me at the start of every year, I have documented, from a personal perspective, the events of 2020. I have put together a series of “tales” about this horrible year. However, be rest assured, they are written in light-hearted proses not to further add to the depression of the world. I am mindful of the fact that the sad occurrences of 2020 have spilt to the New Year. 2021 has inherited some of the challenges of the past year.
The COVID-19 figures are rising while the death numbers are not coming down. In developed countries, hospital admissions are becoming a gambling challenge. The developing countries are still unsure of what to look for, almost twelve months into the virus. Mother nature, however, has a way of helping the helpless. The number of cases in poorer countries has been relatively low. One may say this is compensation for the backwardness in these countries. A large-scale outbreak in these countries would have been the death of humanity.
It is 2021, but the tales are still the same. The ambulances race down the streets with COVID patients struggling to stay alive. There are no spaces at the Intensive Care Units of the hospitals. They are full and bursting at the seams. For the first time in history, patients are attended to in hospital car parks, restaurants, shops, just about anywhere there is space.
Towards the end of 2020, there was a breakthrough in the manufacture of vaccines for the pandemic. While this is good news, it is not the end of the horror. The vaccination of the world population will take some time. And while at it, some individuals are sharing unfounded stories about the vaccines. The conspiracy theorists are hard at work, spinning lies to dissuade people from receiving the vaccines. It is a world of the wise and the fools. The fools are many and it takes a leader to get them to line up behind a theory that makes no sense. Hopefully, common sense will prevail.
Common sense does not seem to be the vogue anymore. Despite the global outbreaks, the COVID-IOTS are still gathering. Despite efforts to get this virus under control, many gathered without masks during the holidays. A large-scale outbreak in these countries would have been the death of humanity. The audacity of some Americans calling for masks wearing to be outlawed is worrisome. You ask, yourself, is this stupidity or wish for death?
Watch out for my series on the tales of 2020 over the following weeks.