We have finally arrived in the last week of 2020. For some this might have been a wonderful year, for most of us this have been an emotional, interesting, sad and let's just say it, boring year. The year has been filled with dalgona coffee, zoom meetings, Netflix, work from home, exploring the home country, restrictions and the biggest of them all COVID-19. Not only have this year been different, it has also taught us a lot about each other, ourself and the world around us. We have tried to summarize this crazy year!
Already in January, Hong Kong got its first case of COVID-19. And from this time, we have been wearing the mask all day, every day. Which Hong Kongers need credits for! This was during the Chinese New Year which was heavily affected by the virus and the previous protests months earlier. As Hong Kong was taking the COVID-19 situation seriously, the world was still in denial about the seriousness. At this time the world was busy talking about Donald Trump's impeachment and UKs brexit. And do you remember the bushfires in Australia (feels like a million years ago right?!?!)?
And when February approaches the world was shocked when the famous basketball player Coby Bryant died in a helicopter crash with his daughter. February was in general a pretty normal month for the world, but in HK we were already working from home, schools were closed and we were making A LOT of Dalgona Coffee (have you even done quarantine right if you didn't try making it?). Another thing that happened in Hong Kong was the hoarding of food, toilet paper, tissue paper and cleaning products. It was all over social media how aunities was fighting for rice or toilet paper. Mask prices were also skyrocketing and the lines for cheaper masks would go around buildings.
Then March happened. This was the time the world realised the seriousness of the virus. As Hong Kongers have been quarantining, had restrictions, done zoom meetings, worked from home and all things quarantine for a month already, the world came after. The world was in panic mode and most countries shutted down. The Eurovision Song Contest, the biggest music contest in Europe was cancelled as well as the Summer Olympics that was planned to be held in Japan summer 2020.
In April there was still some doubt about the seriousness of the virus in huge parts of the world. One country where there was doubt was the US where we could read about teenagers going partying for spring break. In Europe people was cheering for the nurses and doctors on the balconies. Artists had concerts online and outside estates and apartment buildings so people didn't have to leave their homes. Home workouts were done on the balcony as well with the whole building and instructor on the ground.
In May, big things happened around the world. The Black Lives Matters movement sparked after a black American was killed by the police in the US and the movement was against police brutality against black Americans. The movement spreaded from the US to all over the world to fight racism. It brought people together during the pandemic. At the same time many countries started to open their borders and relax their COVID measures. Which can be discussed if it was a smart move. Another interesting thing that flourished online was the rumor of the death of Kim Jong-Un. He wasn't dead, it was just a rumor.
In June we launched our MIGO SS20 Collection and the new website! The BLM movement kept going and a new phenomenon of Karens appeared. This pandemic really brought the Karens out of their hiding and it has created a lot of laughter and anger. And don't forget that Elon Musk sent people to space! Kanye West also had his first rally for entering the presidential elections, however that didn't go as planned.
And what happened in July and September other than restrictions and more COVID? Oh yes, National Security Law became a fact in Hong Kong. However one interesting thing that happened in September was when Carrie Lam appeared on the late night Conan O’Brien show in the US.
As the world wasn't bad enough August came with a huge bang. A huge explosion happened in Beirut Lebanon, a economically hard hit country and also hard hit by the virus. The world stopped for a minute and everyone sent warm thoughts to Beirut. October was a relatively quiet month even though the number of virus cases kept increasing. In Hong Kong the office of Jimmy lai was raided by the police. At the same time Thailand held protests against their government and King.
November was another month with great events! It was the month of the presidential election in the US and Joe Biden won the election, which Donald Trump was not too happy about. In the same month Hong Kong saw more arrests of pro-democracy lawmakers and 15 legislators announced their resignations shortly after the announcement. Hong Kong and Singapore also announced the world's first travel bubble but it was postponed because of the fourth wave of coronavirus.
This year, December came early. People embraced the Christmas spirit, started decorating early and want to have a period of joy. However, Christmas has been different this year, with restrictions on gatherings both in public and at home. People have not been able to go home for Christmas to see their family, there have been Christmas dinners on Zoom and Skype and virtual Santa Claus. Creativity has bloomed this year in all aspects.
Even though there have been too many negative events this year, some good stuff came out of it too. One thing is the ease of traveling, which has caused less pollution. A good example of this is that the pink dolphins have come back to Hong Kong and are now happier than ever! Working from home has become the new normal in Hong Kong and this has made headlines in the news. One most people remember is Hang Seng’s management trainee employees that went hiking during work hours, later known as Hiking Bank. Another new normal is buying take-away. We have been through several waves now, and each wave there is new restrictions on dine-in. We have had lunches at the office, in parks, some even in the construction sites. Restaurants have done a good job at adapting to the fast and continuous changes. During the pandemic many things have changed, and it has sparked new innovations and new ways of doing business. Home delivery, online gatherings and virtual tours are just some of the things that have been adapted to staying home. We have started new hobbies like home cooking, sourdough baking, reading, home exercising, going hiking and anything that doesn't require us to meet other people basically.
Covid has also brought some difficulties to the city. Restrictions have made it difficult to gather. Big events have been cancelled, postponed and/or moved online. The unemployment rate in the city is at its highest its been in decades, restaurants are closing, retail stores are shutting down and no tourists are arriving in the city. Walking the streets is different now, with empty retail space and shut restaurants. It's a hard time for Hong Kongers as well as people all over the world.
Now 2020 is in the past, we will never forget it and we should not. We have learned a lot and now we need to take that knowledge into the new year. Let's start 2021 with a blank paper, clean hands and a bit of distance. 2021 can't get any more crazy than 2020.
What are your hopes and dreams for 2021?
Here is some good pictures and videos that summarises the special year!