It is not arguable that 2020 was among the worst years known to human history. With millions of lives lost and mental trauma of being staying all the time in our homes, 2020 tops among the years when the human race suffered unprecedented misery.
But as the famous proverb- ‘a crisis is the time of opportunity‘ goes, the year also brought-in many opportunities and strangely, many good things happened around the world too. Here is a not-so-comprehensive list of the good things that happened in 2020.
Quality time with family:
In urban areas across the world, the career-driven individuals and their families have had very justified complaints that they do not get to spend quality time with their family. But, given the fact that the pandemic forced most companies to either adopt work from home (WFH) or shut down for a few weeks or months, the families across the world enjoying spending time together.
Being limited to their homes, individuals had free time to do many things by themselves during the pandemic, and therefore, they experimented with cooking, household chores, gardening, teaching kids and many other things. Most of the things for which the families were dependent on domestic help and professionals were done by family members themselves.
The pandemic made families truly independent and ended the division of labour among the family members. While men tried their hand in cooking and other household chores, many women of the family joined jobs because a large number of companies started offering them the opportunity to work from home.
Unprecedented adoption of Information and Communication Technology:
The pandemic forced everyone (corporates, individuals, and governments) to adopt information and communication technology (ICT) and the corporates discovered that most of the things for which they used to call people to the office can be actually done at home using technology. Moreover, the expenditure of many Information Technology (IT) firms increased exponentially and tech firms like Zoom became multi-million dollar companies within a short period.
Many sectors like education, software companies, media & entertainment shifted to remote work during the pandemic. These sectors had been reluctant to shift to online medium for years despite the availability of technology and infrastructure, but the pandemic made them realize that they do not need to spend physical office location.
An unprecedented expansion of digital infrastructure:
Across the world, the digital infrastructure expanded at an unprecedented rate during the pandemic. The governments realised that providing a faster internet connection to people on the last mile is as important as highways, schools, and hospitals. The private as well as public players made a significant investment in digital infrastructure and the connectivity, especially in rural areas, increased significantly.
Record savings and profits:
Many individuals lost jobs during the pandemic and many companies were closed down. However, the companies that survived the pandemic induced lockdown, posed record profits. As per a report by the analytics firm Crisil, corporate profits touched a record high in the September quarter. Similarly, the individuals who did not lose jobs saved a large sum of money, saving on expenditures like rent, travel, clothing etc.
In this sense, the pandemic was a truly Darwinian event because whoever survived it, emerged stronger while those couldn’t survive fell down the line.
This is more true for the Indian scenario, while records of the other governments vary. The Indian governments (union and state) did not waste the crisis to push for reforms on agricultural, labour, foreign policy, and domestic policy. India emerged as one of the pre-eminent global powers during the pandemic and formed the historic QUAD alliance.
Therefore, 2020, being among the worst years of known human history, also brought-in many positive aspects, and, most importantly, changed human civilization radically by accelerating the pace of change manifolds.