I started 2020 with big plans, ambitions, and goals that I was certain I would be able to achieve – exactly one year ago, I was fired up and immensely positive.
Well, the year started great, lots of things to do, a busy schedule, and loads of news to get my teeth into. Professionally I was really beginning to make in-roads and make a real difference.
Watching the celebrations on 31st January, as Britain left the EU, I was wondering where January had gone – time was flying.
I was thinking ahead to the events of the year. So much news, business, sport and politics. Taking the latter, it was supposed to be a bumper year. Brexit trade deal negotiations, London Mayoral election, US Presidential election, plus the political unknowns as the year progressed.
News of an unknown virus affecting China started circulating. Suddenly a cruise ship is quarantined. Cases are detected in other countries. It’s not coming here though right?
News of Britons on an affected cruise liner being repatriated on a cargo Boeing 747 to Birmingham Airport and escorted by the police to a quarantine unit on the Wirral suddenly made the situation seem so real.
For starters, its not common for passengers to be carried on windowless cargo planes. It’s not common for Boeing 747’s to come to Birmingham. It’s not common for coach convoys under police escort to be making their way up the M6.
I was at Birmingham Airport that day. It was bitterly cold, and very windy.
Suddenly, the whole “Coronavirus thing” was very real.
Lockdown followed swiftly. Unprecedented times. Surreal times.
For a few short months over the summer, the restrictions were relaxed sufficiently for a small sense of normality to return, but in reality it wasn’t normal. It was a small relief before Autumn hit and truly wrote the year off as a going concern.
A second wave, a third wave? A new variant, a South African variant, a UK variant.
One thing is for sure, whilst going into 2021 there is hope – a lot of it, there is also trepidation. At the start of November’s lockdown, there was no talk of variants. Now two months on, there’s several, more infectious variants.
I hope that 2021 will allow me to do the things I wanted to do in 2020. If you’d have told me this time last year what was going to happen, I’d have laughed at you.