It is universal that everything in the world has a beginning and an end. Usually, people of all walks welcome the New Year with hopes and dreams to come true.
We wish for our near and dear ones at the eve of New Year. Above all, we expect a new journey with the new year of peace and prosperity for the country and the nation. But despite all good wishes, all the years may not be the blessing for us.
It is true that each year offers us some new lessons and experiences. But there are a few years exceptional to the world history. The year 2020 is one of them. It is certain that the year 2020 will be marked unprecedented in the world history.
You may call it a lost year for the people of the world. The unprecedented coronavirus crisis has disrupted human life and livelihoods in multiple ways throughout the year. The normal chain of life has been affected drastically adding enormous sufferings leading to thousands of deaths.
The question is: did the very first day of the year bear any symptom that the year 2020 was going to be one of the worst years in world history? Did we have any prophecy from any corner of the world? Did our teachers and students realize that the world was going to face education catastrophe? Everything was unprecedented. Nothing we had but we experienced the worst throughout the year which is still ongoing across the globe at various degrees.
As soon as the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard the world we saw how helpless we were in tackling it! We witnessed the helplessness of many developed countries with sound economic background. The world turned into a place of fear and uncertainty. Along with mental trauma countries faced dire economic recession due to sudden lockdown in trade and commerce.
The world witnessed that every country was engrossed with own interest discarding others that accelerated global crisis. It was also evident that in case of combating Covid-19 no countries were ready resulting in bringing huge loss of lives.
Depression, joblessness and food insecurity were the challenges. Mills and factories counted huge loss and were in dilemma what they should do. First time Bangladesh was facing such a lockdown that made disruption in every sphere of life. But despite criticism the country reopened mills and factories and many other activities to run the economic wheel that made the country safe from severe economic shocks.
No doubt, it was a great initiative by the present government and we have learnt that unless some sort of normal life is not allowed, economic stability would fall in dire catastrophe and people would in great number fall in financial insecurity than that of corona woes.
It was obvious throughout the year that how self-centered people were! The nation saw a most heinous incident, may be the act of sheer selfishness, even children threw their old parents on the road.
A number of unfortunate people were abandoned by their own family members in the wilderness or on the roadside suspecting them to be infected with coronavirus across the country. Even there were some who boycotted the deceased family and protested resistance to bury the deceased in the local graveyards.
On top of that, turning away patients from hospitals was an everyday phenomenon and in most cases non-Covid patients and others seeking emergency supports were denied in many hospitals, especially in private ones. The poor were subjected to all kinds of inequalities, especially on accessing to medical facilities. Paradigm-shifting in socialization was found tough to be followed instantly by the common people who are accustomed to traditional behaviours of socialisation.
Country’s education takes a new normal which we never thought before the pandemic. It was the first experience in case of Bangladesh that education goes completely online. The shift of education from traditional to online has been to overcome the crisis of education during the pandemic. But how far we have achieved success is a question of the time.
However, things were not always frustrating. Despite many limitations, the country reached its shore and now has been one of the role models before the global community in regard to Covid-19 management. This has been possible due to strong monitoring along with taking quick strategies of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Despite shocks during the pandemic the country’s economy has seen a significant growth of GDP estimating 4.4 per cent in 2020. Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reported that the per capita income of Bangladesh has been recorded even amid Covid-19. Besides, the country is likely to go past India in regard to the per capita income. Not only that, foreign exchange reserve of the country has grown to record US$ 42 billion.
Unquestionably, the construction of the Padma Bridge with our own resources has been one of the greatest endeavours which have increased our confidence to combat any catastrophe. To ensure every progress of the country between well and woes, even amid the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has made many remarkable instances of success through determination, commitment and courage.
The writer teaches at Prime University.
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