From a worldwide pandemic to explosions to forest fires and even murder hornets- 2020 has been a pretty rough year. Many people believe that the tragedies that occurred in 2020 were the product of what is known as the “2020 curse,” a series of freak events that are birthed from extremely bad luck. This notion covers up the true actuality of why so many disastrous occurrences took place in 2020, many were the outcome of several years of background harm all happening to boil over at the same time. Even so, most of the world has been at home in quarantine throughout some part of 2020.
The COVID-19 lockdown has enabled people to discover new aspects of the world and bring to light daily happenings. 2019 could have had similar events happen in it (without the pandemic in it, of course) but the general public never noticed such events because we were all too busy going to a physical office or school. For example, gun violence sparked at an all time high, fires raged across different parts of the globe, and many world leaders found themselves in political trouble; all in 2019. The lockdown of 2020 has been a catalyst for our increased awareness of counterparts in neighboring countries and continents by giving us the time to delve into realities that don’t include our own.
Reality check: When the clock hits January 1st, 2021, 12:00 AM on New Years Day, it doesn’t mean the “curse of 2020” will be over. Tragedies will continue to occur unless a change is brought forth. However, before attempting to fix the course of the next decade, it is imperative to look at the roots of each issue.
Taking a look at the COVID-19 pandemic, the immense spread could have been easily prevented through universal discipline and early action. The coronavirus emerged in late November and the United States went into lockdown on March 13th. This four month delay has cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their lives. By establishing a travel ban, steering away from propaganda in the media, and listening to real health professionals, the deterioration of the US during the pandemic would have been avoided. It is extremely pertinent that everyone takes precaution during these unprecedented times, because in the end, everyone is affected by COVID-19, whether it be direct or indirect. Directly would be contracting the virus, and indirectly would be suffering from the economic recession that also has pandemic like behavior in 2020. Additionally, when the world approaches the COVID-19 pandemic, they should do so with no other distraction in mind. In the case of America, politics has taken over the job of healthcare professionals, and has dictated whether people wear masks, or if they socially distance or not.
The American election has taken away the precautions needed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And while this election might be the most important in American history, it is to be understood that both events are highly valuable and both are to be regarded simultaneously with care and a right approach.
Viewing a more global perspective, thousands of racial and religious groups are being discriminated upon in different parts of the globe. In Xinjiang, China, Uyghur genocide has persisted for years, and has fueled hate for the group in the country. Because of our detachment with what is happening around the world, most of us never knew that such terrors were occurring. We now know that supremacy exists in many countries other than America, and it is taking the lives of innocent men, women, and children. Which is why action must be taken. One might ask, “I am not being persecuted in my own country, why should I care?” Because we are human. Although you or your family might not be in danger of being sent to a concentration camp, put yourself in the shoes of those who are. We can help fight this race and religion biased genocide by petitioning government intervention and donating to causes that help free those who are incarcerated.
Whether it be climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, or racial and religion based discrimination, we can help combat the ongoing issues that occur in this world with a simple solution: to start caring more, by not just fight for a cause but to understand it, empathize with it, and to attach ourselves to a future where world peace is the new reality.
Prerna Kulkarni is a 15 year old South Asian student at Middlesex County Academy of Science and Technology. She is passionate about studying people and fighting for human equality. She has partaken in many fundraiser projects and has even raised over $350 to cater meals to her local JFK hospital’s frontline healthcare workers! Prerna is a varsity tennis player in her home district’s school, and she is also the current vice president of her grade. Her favorite way to express herself is through the art that she creates, whether it be in sketching, painting, public speaking, or writing.