What was the positive side of 2020?
This year, 2020 has felt like a never-ending road. Long and tiresome, as we approach the end of the year now is the perfect time to look back on our journey and reflect on all the positive things that happened in 2020 so that we can look forward to a better and brighter 2021. Recollecting all the chaos flustered throughout the year it is important to stay kind and remind ourselves that lockdown has provided a unique opportunity to reconnect, create memories and evaluate priorities. Here are 6 outstanding things to be grateful for that happened across the UK in 2020.
Before 2020 more than 9,000 people in the capital city of London were dying early each year due to dirty air predominantly caused by road traffic. With the UK lockdown in full force back in April 2020, households found themselves unable to go into work and school. Expected to stay home with the months rolling by this dramatic decline in commuters meant there were less vehicles on the road to contribute to pollution and dirty air quality. As a result, there was a 94% reduction in the number of people living in areas with illegal levels of dangerous pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and with a near 100% figure this really is something to celebrate and rejoice.
The Northern Lights
Following on from reduced pollution levels it was no surprise that this decline in toxic pollutants brought about huge changes to the Earth’s natural phenomena. The frosty peaks of the Himalayas were visible 200 kilometres away from Punjab in India for the first time in 30 years and the northern lights are said to be visible from Ireland’s northern ridge as early as September. These promising changes to our environment this year has set the foundations for a spectacular transformation in the natural world in years to come meaning more beautiful memories to experience going forward.
Supporting the Arts
It is well known that the creative arts are one of the biggest industries to be affected due to COVID-19 pandemic. With event spaces closing and job opportunities sparse, performers, artists, and many more creatives have been left distressed wondering when their next work contract will arrive. Yet come October 2020 it was announced that The Arts Council of Northern Ireland would receive a 63% funding boost with the government providing 50 million euros to the artistic industries in aid to help productions get back up and running safely so creative work can resume in the near future.
Focus on family
Working from home was a scary concept when it was first introduced across the UK. Offices shut down, routines had changed, and parents found themselves wondering how they would be able to focus on work as well as look after their children. Like always, we managed to adapt and as a result lockdown has allowed parents, siblings, and grandparents to reunite and share quality time together. Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer who has worked with children and families over 20 years explained how lockdown has helped new mothers gain additional support from their partners being at home, allowed fathers to spend more time with their children and encouraged older children to be more involved with their families after leaving home. The perfect reminder to share love and kindness, especially with Christmas tying up the year.
Food for thought
One of the most positive changes coronavirus has brought for 2020 is the review of free school meals. From September 2020 it was confirmed that all infant pupils will be given free lunches and snacks with an option for schools to provide free meals to older students as well. In addition to this, the UK government have been made aware of the challenge’s corona virus has brought to those that struggle to pay for food and are now offering a food parcel service for vulnerable students that have had no choice but to stay home from school during the lockdown. Not only are these two wonderful benefits to come from lockdown but to relish in this good news further, it was announced on 8th November that a new £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme will be run by local authorities in England to support with food and utility costs for families that have been hit the hardest during these challenging times.
The coronavirus vaccine began to roll out
On Tuesday the 8th of December it was announced that Grandmother Margaret Keenan, 90, from Coventry has become the first person in the world to receive the coronavirus jab as part of a vaccination programme. Keenan stated in her own words that being the first was “the best early birthday present I could wish for” as it allowed her to spend time with friends and family coming into the New Year. With such wonderful news, this rollout has given the UK population hope we all needed knowing that a better 2021 is waiting just around the corner…
Looking back, we can take away that with every slither of bad comes a sprinkle of good. By encouraging a healthy mindset and positive outlook let us reflect on the wonderful aspects of community, productivity, and tranquillity to take away from 2020 as we continue to grow and move forward. Tell us what you have overcome in 2020 or share what you are looking forward to the most in 2021 by leaving a reply below. Make sure to check out our social media pages Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more content surrounding the Merriment Atelier mission.