• Sun, 13, Dec, 2020 - 5:00:AM

Five (good) lessons from (horrible) 2020

1. A quiet life is a good life. I may be casually disregarding the immense stress I was under at the time, but a part of me looks back at the first lockdown with fondness. Aside from the fact it almost killed me with anxiety, Lockdown 1.0 was somewhat enjoyable.

I discovered that I liked the small routine of a small life: watching the national update every at 1. Taking a short stroll around the neighbourhood. Baking bread. Making coffee. I'm not saying I want to go back to that situation, exactly it’s more to say, I’m not afraid of my life growing simpler one day. Whenever that happens.

2. The pop girls will always be there for us. As I wrote in October, 2020 may have been a disaster but at least the pop girls went balls-to-the-wall. From Miley finding her rock n’ roll lane with Plastic Hearts, Ariana leaning into RnB with Positions, and Gaga returning to full-throated pop with Chromatica, this has been a great year for pop. Not to mention the double whammy from Taylor, song of the year from Cardi and Megan, and a whole damn album from Blackpink. This year has just been too damn much!

3. Self-care is a priority. At the start of the pandemic, everyone was going to write their King Lear. How quickly that was abandoned. Instead, most of us realised that living through a pandemic is hard (who’d have thought, right?) and we had to take care of ourselves. And if you hadn’t realised that yet, this is me telling you: take care of yourself, it’s been one hell of a year.

4. Teamwork makes the dream work. Bitter folks from overseas like to remind New Zealand that we are a small island nation, and that’s the reason we beat the pandemic.

It’s only half true.

It certainly helped that we are small. There’s no point denying that it’s easier to manage a nation of 5 million than one of 50 million. But notions of ease fail to recognise the hard work we put in when the virus landed on our doorstep. If it weren’t for our collective efforts, cases would have risen exponentially – as they were doing in the early days.

No, New Zealand is (virtually) Covid-free thanks to the efforts we put in. And we have every right to be proud of that.

5. You can’t trust everyone. We were lucky, when the virus hit us in February/March, to receive strong, decisive leadership from above. That didn’t happen everywhere. Nor did everyone in our own backyard take it seriously. By the time the second lockdown hit in August, certain people of influence (influencers, you might call them) decided to use their platforms in terribly misguided ways. Whether malicious or simply dumb, mistakes like this can have dire consequences. 

In the face of such dangerous misinformation, it falls on the rest of us to stand up, be courageous, and call it out. 

Lets take that courage into 2021 – a year that, all going well, at least can’t be worse than 2020.


Don’t tell me I jinxed it.


  • Lessons /
  • 2020 /
  • Reflection /
  • Christmas /
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