Indisputable phenomena is one of the most unnerving concepts for the human brain to grasp. We are programmed to question; to look further; to hypothesize, and disprove or improve upon past findings. The unstoppable nature of time and the inevitable occurrence of manmade or natural disaster, death, and rebirth baffles us because these processes cannot be reversed, or stopped through human research and intervention. Indisputable facts. They cannot be changed. But that is not to say that indisputable facts or unstoppable processes would change for the better if they were not definite since the consistency of indisputability provides people with a sense of comfort.
The past year has been indisputably unconventional; heartbreaking and breathtaking; confusing and frustrating; polarizing and unifying.
The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has completely shattered the ways in which societies all over the world function – from the most developed and largest cities to the smallest and poorest villages. Everyone has had to change something, great or small, about their lifestyle. Most people have had to accommodate the needs of society’s medically vulnerable people, and adjust to the loss of time with family members and friends due to virtual socialization, work, and school, or death. Some have sacrificed their own health for the sake of the public. Some have watched helplessly as their life savings, hard work, and jobs were effectively eradicated and destroyed due to economic decline. Some have lost the lives of many around them, and some have lost none. Many have recognized the flaws or qualities in their government, leading to an increase in the vocalization of concerns and discontent, or praise and adoration. Many have used the pandemic to their political, economic and social advantage. Many people’s true colours have been exposed.
The inescapable nature of disaster – the indisputable fact that disaster leads to socioeconomic and political chaos – consequently causes people to feel intensely polarized, and incapable of seeing an end to the pandemic and the subsequent civil unrest it has caused worldwide. However, feeling anything but hopeful for the future and proud of what everyone has made of the past year detracts from the credit due to oneself and to the world.
We have created many vaccines at a record pace. People have reignited and started a plethora of movements – unaccepting of the pandemic slowing down their social, political and economic agendas. Political, medical and economic leaders of countries around the globe have had to focus on both their national initiatives- including elections and other natural or manmade disasters and affairs – while shifting time, money and resources to the international effort to prevent the spread of and provide treatment and solutions for the coronavirus pandemic.
It is easy to sit in our homes and criticize our community members’ and national officials’ actions, but if we truly reflect on the multitude of strenuous issues and decisions that occurred in this past year, I find that it is nearly impossible not to be impressed with the progress and impact of global change in one year; a year in which a single obstacle’s, (the pandemic), successive challenges sparked global innovative and creative solutions leading to socioeconomic and political development.
On a smaller scale, I am proud of myself for beginning the exciting challenge of college and living in a new country while facing national and international lockdown restrictions, online school, and limited social opportunities. I am hoping to continue the relationships I made this year – a year that allowed me to have more intimate and meaningful interactions, uninterrupted by the normally bustling nature of University social life. I am hopeful that this experience will teach me and those around me the importance of staying connected with family and friends amidst infeasible travel conditions. Above all else, this year has taught me, and arguably everyone everywhere, how to adapt quickly to change. I am hopeful that this lesson in modifying lifestyles, the workplace, social interaction and more will continue to spark creative and efficient solutions to sudden local and global challenges.
It is unnerving to think that we can manipulate viruses, study disease, find treatments and cures, and attempt to prevent viral spread for the future, and yet despite all these efforts, the world will still face another health crisis in the future. It is unnerving to accept that disaster will inevitably strike – manmade or natural. But I find it comforting that adaptation in the face of adversity is indisputably human beings’ greatest trait. People repeatedly prove their resiliency throughout history, across all events, similar or completely different to the Coronavirus pandemic.
It is because of human’s historic resiliency that I know the world will persevere through the next few months, or potentially the next few years until the pandemic is a part of recent history. Just as the world rebuilt and developed further after World War I and II, and just as communities rebuild and develop after hurricanes and earthquakes, after this pandemic, the world will march on with a newfound appreciation for life as it was, and with a set of adaptive skills that will help us handle the next challenge life brings our way.
No matter what the next global, local, or personal obstacle is, the world, and myself, will adapt; we will persevere through innovation, progression, hope, and faith in the indisputably determined and unrelenting human race.