By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: Ever since the deadly pandemic was declared earlier this year, 2020 has been written in books as one of the roughest years ever, although it may not be compared to some dismal years like; 1943 (peak of the Nazi Holocaust and World War II), 1348–49 (peak of the Black Death), or 536 (darkened skies and widespread famine due to an epic volcanic eruption).
But of course, the fact that 2020 draws comparisons to the above terrible years spanning two millennia of human history, it still means something to your mind I guess.
Meanwhile, as we count hours to 2021, TheSpy Uganda, reminds you a new year’s eve of 2019… oh yes! also remember when the clock struck midnight and you toasted 2020 with a warm champagne, maybe you were excited about the year ahead: an overseas holiday, a new job, a university course, a wedding, I mean…whatever you planned probably hasn’t happened.
Now, as 2020 comes to an end and people around the world try to nurse heart wounds after losing their loved ones to COVID-19, TheSpy Uganda has summarized for you the key events of the past darkest 12 months that might have foiled your dreams although some have minted a lot from what you call a deadly 2020.
Early in the year, international travel was severely restricted, and people globally learnt new acronyms like PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), Sanitizer, among others with critical consideration of their importance that quickly entered the global lexicon.
Soon, there were concerns about a global shortage of PPE and the UN-supported various countries in the procurement of supplies, including China where the virus first emerged.
As COVID-19 took hold, countries and cities across the world entered lockdown with the closure of schools, cultural and sports venues and all non-essential businesses. Normally bustling city centres, like Uganda’s capital Kampala, were eerily quiet as people stayed at home.
On education, after the closure of schools, students had to adapt to a new reality and find ways to keep up with their studies specifically most of them using online studies aided by applications like zoom.
Across the world, people were adapting to new social distancing guidelines and were reminded about the importance of handwashing as a way to reduce the transmission of diseases.
While Africa appeared to suffer less from the virus than other continents, at least in terms of absolute infections and deaths, the UN did voice concerns that the pandemic would push millions more into poverty something that is already seen in South Africa.
As we report this, progress has been made, in record time, by scientists developing new effective vaccines against COVID-19 and by the end of 2020, the first people, mainly in developed countries, were being inoculated.
Therefore, as the world enters 2021, the pandemic is still raging and, after an apparent mid-year lull in many countries, more infections and more deaths are being reported. With more vaccines being rolled out, both the local and international community is being urged to work together to stop the spread and follow science-based guidelines.