Monday, 25 October 2021
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Finding the silver linings in the black clouds of 2020

Written by  Jan 03, 2021

Goodbye and never come back 2020! A new start and a much brighter future. So in a year to forget what do you remember? As we’re finishing this terrible year it’s time to find the silver linings in the black clouds of 2020. Let’s think pink!

A global pandemic, is just that – global. So with everyone in the same boat we saw lots of creativity in the face of adversity. Here is my list of the top fourteen (yes, it’s an unusual number but it’s been an unusual year) things to celebrate from this year, and they are in no particular order.

1) The planet had a chance to hit the refresh button and relax from our constant pollution. Remember the story that the Himalayas were seen for the first time in years from India. And closer to home the Old City breathed a sigh of relief as its stone streets weren’t crammed to overcrowding.

2) People explored the beauty around them rather than foreign destinations. “Staycation” was the buzz word in the travel industry this year. And once again the diversity of Croatia surprised me.

3) We all got a crash course in Zoom. The older members of my family drastically improved their tech skills, from Instagram to FaceTime, social distancing brought virtual reality.

4) Working from home is the new norm, and I have a feeling it’s here to stay. Dining room tables were converted into our offices and the commute was from the bathroom to the living room. Consequently, we spent much less on petrol this year. And wearing our pyjamas to work was liberating.

5) We learned the hard way to appreciate what we had until now taken for granted. It was a tough year for culture and we all realised that those concerts, dramas and exhibitions were an important part of life’s rich tapestry.



6) We all got a little retro. From drive-in cinemas, to drive-through restaurants and even board games. Yes, board games made a comeback as families connected around the table. Yes, there were fights, but there was also laughter, and I’m speaking from my own experience.

7) The online shopping culture accelerated, although Dubrovnik is still behind the curve. Some green shots of optimism sprung up as businesses thought outside the box.

8) Cleanliness! Again we were reminded of the importance of washing our hands.

9) Dubrovnik, again probably the hard way, learnt that it is far too dependent on one branch – tourism. Clearly one of the most fragile and unstable sources of income to be dependent on. Without tourists we can’t survive, and that’s not a healthy place to find yourself in.

10) Sport without spectators just isn’t the same. It’s like sex without foreplay. Sport unites us.

11) Our healthcare workers showed their incredible dedication and professionalism. These were the real heroes in this fight against the pandemic and they deserve all the praise that has been heaped on them. Hopefully they will be awarded and won’t in the future have to leave Ireland or Sweden to earn what a decent living.

12) We learned to cook! Well we had to time on our hands and instant access to recipes from leading chefs. From homemade bread to cakes, hopefully some of this knowledge will stick (and by stick I don’t mean to the pan as in my case).

13) Not only did we learn to appreciate the work of healthcare workers but we also realised just how difficult it is to home-school our children. Hats off to teachers for all their hard work.

14) And finally we survived! That’s the most important. 2020 throw a lot at us all and we survived. Yes, it will take some time to get back to normal life, whatever that means, but we got through it. We entered the darkest and longest tunnel and together we all pulled together and made it through to the brighter side. The strength that we have all acquired from this challenge will be a priceless tool in the future. We’ve been running in mud for a year and now the sight of asphalt is on the horizon. Imagine just how faster and easier it’ll be to run on a hard surface. We survived!

Happy New Year and may 2021 bring you hope, strength and prosperity!

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