As the clock struck midnight, people celebrated and ushered in the new year, made new resolutions, and wished for a year that brings out the best in them, unaware of what’s waiting. Cut to six months later, the entire world is in a state of halt because of a deadly virus spread by a little mammal. The coronavirus or COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that spreads from person to person through droplets from nose or mouth.
According to the WHO, the virus originated from a province in China, infecting nearly 20,000 people in the country. Slowly, it spread to many countries including the USA, Europe, Africa, the Gulf countries as well as India. Globally, there have been over 11.6 million confirmed cases (as on 7th July, 2020) as reported by the WHO.
Even the world is fighting against the coronavirus, it also saw many more losses. The death of the professional basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter in a helicopter crash deeply saddened everyone. The Australian bushfire that sent massive heatwaves killed nearly 34 people, many blaming the climate change.
Another incident that sent a shock of wave in the entire world is the death of an African-American man George Floyd. The man, a victim of systemic racism, was murdered in Minneapolis after being restrained by the police. A video footage of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck, as he gasped for breath, sparked violent protests across the world, seeking justice for him.
As the world was slowly getting back on its feet, India saw its own share of struggles. Right after a nationwide lockdown was announced on 21st March 2020, many migrants headed back to their native villages. According to a report by Hindustan Times, nearly 198 migrants died on their way back home.
Since public transport had also been stopped due to the lockdown, many migrants had to travel miles back home on foot. It was reported that nearly eight lakh workers left Mumbai by 29th May to go back to their homes by special trains and buses organised by the government and Bollywood celebrity Sonu Sood.
As the lockdown got extended, many people spent hours on the internet as a way to pass time. This led to many rumours spreading fear amongst the citizens. One such example is a rumour that said that the world was going to end on 21st June, 2020. Well, we’re in July now.
The internet, on the other hand, also helped people provide funding to those affected by cyclones in Maharashtra, West Bengal and Assam. It also helped people learn a few things online such as dancing and cooking. Social media apps were filled with pictures of people baking cakes amid the lockdown. Video calls helped people stay connected in these hard times. Now that the lockdown has extended, the internet also helped schools and colleges to conduct online classes, for students’ safety and parents’ sanity.
The lockdown also forced several businesses in the country to shut down, derailing India’s economy. According to QUARTZ India, the GDP of the county has reached somewhere between 5% to 10% for the first time in four decades. However, economic activities might grow post-lockdown and there are hopes that the economy will grow.
The entertainment industry also suffered the loss of four talented artists during this lockdown. Irrfan Khan passed away due to a prolonged illness, while actor Rishi Kapoor breathed his last the very next day. And just when the country was getting over the loss of these two actors, the young and talented actor Sushant Singh Rajput died by suicide after fighting with depression. The legendary dancer and choreographer Saroj Khan also suffered from a major cardiac attack, breathing her last a few days later.
And to top it all, as a part of its revenge-seeking plan over border dispute with China, India banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, each used by almost every citizen. These apps were said to be engaging in activities that threatened national security and defence of India, according to the Indian government. In a span of nearly six months into 2020, the world and our country itself has seen a lot of activities that are enough to create history. But the question still remains, six months into 2020, what’s more in store?