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2020’s not all bad. Is it?

Images from Pixabay.com

No matter who you are, or where you’re from, this year has hit everybody hard. From no longer having a social life to the lack of toilet roll on store shelves! It has definitly been interesting!

For those few living under the proverbial rock, England has been launched into a second lockdown that commenced on Thursday Nov 5th. Current PM Boris Johnson held a conference at which he announced that Lockdown 2.0 will be in full force until December 2nd.

Courtesy of The Telegraph.

Unfortunately, this means that our newly repaired social lives are yet again at threat of another thrashing. This is why it’s important, now more than ever, that we support each other through these chaotic times.

That’s why I’m writing to you all today. To let you know that even though all may seem lost, 2020 has had some very encouraging highlights.

Financial Statistics:

According to the UK governments Weekly Road Fuel Prices, the price of fuel, especially petrol, has dipped to its lowest since 2015. Statistically speaking that means we started off 2020 with an average price of 126.09 (p/litre), took a nose dive in May to 105.09 (p/litre) and finally emerged with our most recent record of 112.35 (p/litre). In summary, its a been a rocky year in more ways than one.

Meanwhile streaming services have boosted profits siginificantly. An article on Finder.com named ‘TV streaming statistics in the UK 2020’ explains that the predicted revenue for Netflix in 2020 will exceed £17 billion a £2 billion jump from the previous year.

But its not just Netflix that has benefitted. Other services like that of Amazon Prime, Now TV and the newly launched Disney + have also been very fortunate as the following chart depicts.

Chart from Finder.com

So with that, let me take you back through the tattered and faded scrapbook of 2020 and pick out those glimmering pages of selflessness, community and love.

NHS Hero; ‘Captain Tom’ Moore

From The Sun and GQ Magazine

Captain Tom Moore rose to the attention of the media after having started a fundraising walk that amassed an astounding total of £32, 796, 355! Surpassing his goal of £500, 000. His JustGiving campaign is known to be a new record for the fundraising company.

His walk, which consisted of 100 laps around his front garden, was to celebrate his 100th Birthday on April 30th. He completed it on April 16th by the watch of a Guard of honour from the First Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.

And if that’s not enough, him and his family created The Captain Tom Foundation to encourage others to raise funds and awareness. Alongside the release of Michael Ball’s single titled “You’ll Never Walk Alone” which sold almost 36,000 copies in the first 48 hours and the proceeds went to several NHS charities. On April 24th, a week after its initial release the song went to No.1 in the Weekly UK Singles Chart.

Austrailian Bushfires have finally ceased

Image rights held by Aljazeera.com

March 31st announced the end of the tragic bushfires that have developed across Austrailia in the 2019/20 season. Accurately known as the “Black Summer”, this year had the most direct fatalities (estimated at 34) since the season of 1982/83, of which 47 people died. Furthermore another 445 people died of smoke inhalation.

Alongside the loss of human life, reliable media outlet Al Jazeera reported that a study produced from Australian universities determined that “2.46 billion reptiles, 180 million birds, 143 million mammals and 51 million frogs were harmed in the blazes”.

In terms of environmental effects, NASA estimated that by January 2 of this year (halfway through the season) 306 million tonnes of CO2 had been emitted, by comparison 2018’s full season totalled at 535 million tonnes. The Air Quality Index (AQI) reported that at one point the west suburb of Sydney had more than 12 times the hazardous level of 200 and the level of fine particle matters in the air (PM2.5) was measured at 734 micrograms, the equivalent of 37 cigarettes!

In response, a number of countries provided humanitarian assistance and international aid. These included Canada, Fiji, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, UAE and of course the USA. Both political figures and those in the entertainment industry promoted awareness in order to aid in funding.

PS5 has been released

Sony’s latest Play Station installment (No.5) has been available worldwide since November 12 and has been averagely priced at £499 with the digital edition costing £349.

Unlike previous models, the PS5 has a white exterior, mimicking that of it’s long running rival the Xbox series. The below video named the “PS5 Launch Guide” provides a detailed explanation of all the important and possibly lesser known facts and features of the product.

Youtube video rights held by Mystic.

Sony has had much success with their gaming consoles in recent years. As the following bar chart provided byStatista illustrates, profits from Sony’s Game and Network Services have been steadily rising since 2012 until 2019 of which the survey was incomplete for the year. Starting at $7.57 billion (2012) rising to $20.84 billion in the penultimate year. Alongside this progressive growth, Sony forecasts the PS5 will increase sales to $23.36 billion.


Africa declared free of polio as of Aug 25th

Pixabay Image

To those of us living in the “West” Polio may seem a disease long since eradicated, however Africa as a continent has finally announced that of 2020 they are officially Polio-Free.

But what exactly is Polio? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) summarize it as the following; “Polio or Poliomyelitis is a disabling and life-threatening disease caused by the poliovirus. [It] spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis”

Since the creation of the IPV (1954) and the OPV (1946), the treatment and prevention of this highly contagious disease has been increasingly effective. From an estimated 350, 000 in 1988 to just 33 in 2018 these two vaccines have eliminated polio from most of the world!

In 1996 the World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced prevention efforts and thus saved an estimated number of 180,000 lives. Currently the only two countries left to report cases of wild polio are Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Drive In cinemas come back into fashion

Image from Pixabay

As Covid-19 prevents close proximity socialiation, the once retro custom of attending a drive-in cinema has gained in popularity. Enabling people to stay safely distanced while still enjoying the movie theatre atmosphere.

In an online article by Variety Magazine they state that data shows that at least 40 new sites have been provided for the use of drive-in movie presentation. This has increased rapidly since there were only 3 available pre-covid.

The BBC also states that “Comedy, gigs, drag shows, music festivals and even raves are using the model – which by nature promotes social distancing – to keep their shows, sometimes literally, on the road.”

The now retro but popular theme was first introduced in the 1930’s in the states. Another article, sourced also from the BBC’s culture webpage, explains how drive-ins are “beloved icons” and “have long been immortalised in US pop culture and referenced in songs and movies”.

As drive-ins reach the grand old age of 90 years, it is due to these unlikely future events that we may see a reprisal of the once old-fashioned activity of the in car cinema experience.

Final Note; Remember to be grateful!

It might sound cheesy but it’s imporatnt to appreciate what you really have, the support of colleaugues, family, comrades, frontline staff or even the friendly neighbourhood spiderman. For those of who are lucky enough to have survived or better yet completly avoided this 21st Century plague, you have your physical health. Mental health? Well that’s a whole new conversation. But hey, who was fully sane before 2020?

Pinterest Image

And although this year has been scattered with dissapointment, restraint and tradegy, it has also been a huge opportunity for us to reflect. Not only on the year itself but on ourselves, our mental and physical health, the simple acts that we previously took for granted and the time we have spent with loved ones.

I hope this article helps those in need of some positive news. As always during this time, stay safe!

Written by Siobhan Lansdowne

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