Simple Living

Five Good Things We Experienced in 2020

We’re almost at the end of 2020 and likely many of us aren’t sorry to see it go. However, in the midst of the anxiety, loss, and uncertainty of the year there were moments that showed we aren’t defined by our circumstances but rather by our responses to them. Below Krista shares a few of the positive things that happened in the midst of this difficult year.

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Dedication of Front Line Workers

There were many instances in which we cared for each other through this pandemic, but those on the front lines gave (and continue to give) their all, risking their safety to care for us. In my area we participated in the nightly seven o’clock cheer for our front line workers:

And one man did amazing things without leaving his front garden! If you haven’t heard the story of Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year old veteran with a fundraising mission, then read about it here.

Banksy even joined in sharing his appreciation with a special piece dedicated to first responders.

Innovative Organizations

Many businesses pivoted to provide services in the face of all of the unknowns at the beginning of the pandemic. Websites, curbside pick-up, and delivery became key for many businesses small and large to continue serving us while some workers had to shift where and how they worked. Along with having to adapt almost overnight to remain viable, many businesses shared their offerings free of charge to help those of us relegated to our homes feel connected and engage in interesting activities. My son benefited greatly from an online preschool, we read through an online library, and looked through several virtual tours.

And how can we talk about innovation without mentioning the immense effort undertaken by so many to develop the COVID vaccine in the past year?

Environmental Impact

During the height of worldwide lockdowns the world saw a dramatic change in CO2 levels as well as a surprisingly quick return of wildlife to urban areas . Though negative consequences of the pandemic to the environment have since been documented, the data from the pause in activity gave us an understanding of how quickly nature can recover when we make changes, which I find encouraging!

One ongoing positive impact to emissions in future may be the trend of working from home resulting in reduced emissions from commuting.

New Knowledge

And what would any 2020 list be without a mention of sourdough! I was one of the many who tried out this traditional way of making bread but there were so many other activities that were attempted this year. We couldn’t buy seeds in the spring as so many people were rediscovering the joy of growing their own produce and flowers. Others learned to knit or sew, learn a new skill or read a book that had long been on the bookshelf. And who can forget Dalgona coffee?

My first loaf of sourdough

Discovering the Beauty of Where We Live and COVID-Safe Fun

Italians amazed us with their balcony performances;

colourful birthday parades filled our social media feeds; people painted rocks and left them on trails for no-touch scavenger hunts; and candy was delivered through chutes at Halloween!

My family explored some local parks that we hadn’t been to before and enjoyed having the time to learn more about where we live, and it seems that many others did the same judging by the beautiful photos that filled social media through the summer.

Though I’m happy to see 2020 end, I have been continally amazed at the resilience and creativity found among us when meeting the challenges of this year. Here’s to a brighter 2021!

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  • Ming Qian

    Oh yes, the environmental point is very true. You just reminded me of all those pictures of wildlife roaming the empty streets. Besides showing us how quickly nature can recover, I think it also shows how disruptive our presence is to nature. As a small island city-state, we do not have much wildlife that can encroach into our urban landscape. However, we do have two families of otters that wander the canals, lockdown or not. Unfortunately, there is a vocal minority that calls for the culling of our beloved otters just because the otters treat their prized koi as a snack. >.<

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      I agree so much on the point about our presence disrupting nature. I live in an area where bears wander in yards and streets because we’ve built so close to their habitat. It is sad to see how we have that impact. At the same time the thought of your otter families makes me smile because I can see them loving swimming the canals. There were some otters that had a lot of fun in a local park here a couple years ago…their fun also involved koi fish, which was controversial, but it was such a mischievous act that I now picture otters having big personalities. 🙂

  • Kelly Diane

    This is such a lovely reflective post. Its important to remember that although its been a tough and scary year, we have learnt so much, not only about ourselves but about the environment around us too. Hopefully going forward, this is something we remember when the pandemic is over.

  • Clarissa

    Great post! I am definitely thankful for the frontline workers and was impressed by the abilities of companies to adapt to the challenges of 2021. Also teachers. What a heavy load was placed on them this year having to figure everything out. Happy new year!

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