With the Covid-19 pandemic changing the world, it was only a few months in to 2020 that people were calling it the worst year ever. By the middle of 2020, this meant some writing off the year, then acting as if everything would be magically back to normal in 2021.

Well, as I write this, it’s 2021 here in Australia, and if anything the situation looks worse than it did a week ago. So I wanted to share a carol I wrote for 2020 (with apologies to Christmas).

The carol

On the last day of 2020,
my true love sent to me,
Twelve borders closing,
eleven lockdowns pending,
ten hands a washing,
nine guards a guarding,
eight ships a cruising,
seven hoarders hoarding,
six nurses working,
five fancy masks,
four sombre memes,
three Zoom calls,
two vaccine shots,
and a pangolin in a pear tree

The day

For us here in Victoria, the last day of 2020 saw the first community transmission recorded for a couple of months, a tightening of some of the restrictions, and closing the border to all of NSW (not just Greater Sydney). The Western Australian border also closed to us, just weeks after it was re-opened in the lead-up to Christmas.

It would be easy to present this as the last gasp of a vengeful 2020, but it was always clear that the relative control of Covid-19 could easily be breached.

Looking ahead

For now, 2021 is a continuation of 2020: Tight border control and struggling to quickly contain any outbreaks that do make it into the community. I hope both Victoria and NSW can get on top of the current situation swiftly and without having to re-impose strict restrictions, but a lot will rely on luck.

I hope to be free to spend warm summer days exploring Melbourne and Victoria, though I may think twice before crossing state borders like I did in December. I also hope to spend time with family and friends, both in person and online.

I also think of my friends in the Northern Hemisphere facing winter with far higher Covid-19 case loads than here in Australia. Stay strong and stay safe!

The news on the vaccine front in the final months of 2020 was much more promising than I was expecting, though rolling it out nationwide and worldwide will still be a massive logistical challenge. So I do hope for better things in 2021, but it will take time to get there and will still need a lot of things to go right.

In the meantime, Happy New Year!

2021 is here!