2020 was probably one of the worst years mankind has ever lived to see. We experienced the deaths of some of the most beloved celebrity icons, saw the Australian wildfires terrorize innocent animals and people, and perhaps worst of all, the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to all our plans; this is just to name a few. However, the dawn of 2021 is now upon us, giving everyone a reason to be optimistic and have a positive outlook on what the new year will bring. 2021 might soothe some of the damage left by its predecessor for two reasons.
The first reason regards climate change. Many were left bewildered by the havoc wreaked on Australia due to the constant wildfires. It ravaged a multitude of Australia’s animals and their habitats, leaving an estimate of 3 billion of them displaced or killed within the past year, according to scientists from Australian universities.
Though many of the wildfires began from natural causes such as lightning strikes in dry areas, Australian researchers stated that human-caused climate change was also one of the driving factors of the wildfires. Record warmth and dryness in Australia last year due to rising global temperatures helped set the foundation for these bushfires to ignite.
However, as of recently, the catastrophic rise in world temperature has slowed down considerably. The effects of the policies laid out through the Paris Climate Agreement made in 2015 help explain these findings according to the British Broadcasting Commission.
The second reason regards the release of the vaccine, and the potential end of the pandemic lockdown. Since the first vaccination was given in December 2020, more than 65.6 million immunizations have been administered to the public. As the first group to get immunized composes of senior citizens and essential workers, younger citizens and children are expected to start receiving vaccinations by late 2021 according to health officials. To find your place in the vaccine line, check out the New York Times’ interactive tracker.
This opens up the possibilities of places such as schools and daycares to fully reopen in the Fall, which many students and children in general have missed in the last year. For the first time in what seems like ages, people may finally be free to touch and hug one another without fear of cross contamination.
When speaking on the issue, junior Sophia Garcia said, “I really miss going to school. Not only do I feel like I’m learning less online, but I miss all my friends. I just want to hug them again.”
Though 2020 was indeed a horrible year, mentally and physically, the future of the world’s climate and potential end of Covid is the silver lining in the cloud we all need to keep us going.