Ahh 2020, a year of uncertainty, boredom, stress, fear, and social, political and economic tension. But to say this past year was a total wash would be totally unfair. While it’s been an emotional rollercoaster for most of us, a lot of amazing things happened in 2020 — things that were both completely random or a direct byproduct of the way COVID-19 has uprooted the lives of people across the globe. So, let’s take a breather and point out some of the goodness, big and small, that graced us in 2020.
- We achieved what was once seen as impossible to fight the pandemic. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA and are being distributed to the most vulnerable populations in less than a year.
- Indonesia starts nationwide distribution of Sinovac vaccine
- Singapore #supportlocal campaign helped many businesses to stay afloat and continue surviving
- Americans rushed to adopt and foster pets in need amid the pandemic, completely emptying kennels at many humane societies and animal shelters across the U.S. for the first time ever.
- IT Industry Accelerates The Rollout Of 5G Wireless Networks And Products
- The world’s first 3D eye was developed. The unveiling in June of the world’s first spherical artificial eye with a 3D retina raised the possibility of bringing vision to humanoid robots and new hope to patients with visual impairment.
- Major gains were made in gender equality. There are now 20 countries with a woman head of state or government, up from 12 in 1995.
- No local COVID-19 cases from people who entered Singapore without pre-departure tests from Nov 18 to Dec 27
Little wins that still sparked hope
- SE Asia rainy season temperature dropped as low as 21.2 deg C in some regions, yay to the cool weather!
- Taco bells coming back to Asia
- One Utah brewery paid off an entire elementary school’s student lunch debt, proving to the world that beer can do great things.
- IKEA shared its beloved Swedish meatball recipe with the world. You’re welcome, moms everywhere.
- Virtual home tours took off, letting us daydream of new digs without even having to get up off the couch.
- It snowed chocolate — yes, chocolate — in Switzerland when the ventilation system at the Lindt chocolate factory malfunctioned. Don’t worry, it was harmless to the environment and delightful for everyone who witnessed the “fine cocoa dusting.”
- There was an elephant baby boom! More than 170 elephants (including two sets of twins) were born in Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
- Crayola launched a box of crayons with diverse skin colors for children to “accurately color themselves into the world.” About time!
- A record number of endangered sea turtles — more than 2,250 — hatched on a beach in northern Mexico. Typically, about 500 are hatched there a year, leading experts to believe the increased population is the result of us all staying at home during the pandemic.
- Home workout takes a hit leaving all of us healthy.
- Hong Kong DJ ‘Uncle Ray’ makes good on birthday promise with HK$100,000 donation to Operation Santa Claus.
- Animals at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) parks have seen the arrival of several newborns.
Hopefully, we can all still look back on 2020 with a little bit of gratitude and move forward into the new year with a lot more optimism. And if you want to read about Esker’s personal wins this year, check out our other year-end blog post!