The time is approaching for it to leave. And to never come back. Never. I am talking about The Year 2020.
A year ago, who could have imagined what was waiting for us?
It was impossible. And if someone had imagined it, and talked about it, we would have considered him/her crazy.
“A pandemic? Impossible,” we would have said. Today, with the advances of science, with all the means that America and other advanced countries have at their disposal? No way.
And yet. Let's take a brief look back. So that we do not forget what hit us.
In January, news broke that a mysterious virus had infected a dozen people in Wuhan, China.
Few paid attention.
The first cases in the United States became known on January 21. A few days later, China locked down the city of Wuhan.
On January 30, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Another Greek word that has permanently entered the international lexicon.
And yet, with conflicting opinions among politicians and scientists, few took the proclamation seriously.
In February, however, things began to change.
Europe was beginning to face a serious problem. In March, the Coronavirus was severely felt in the United States. On March 13, President Trump declared the country to be in a "state of emergency."
But it was too late. The epicenter of the Coronavirus was already in New York. People could not believe that New York, the ‘capital of the world,’ could not control this problem.
Soon, the image of the country to the outside world collapsed.
In March and April, one city after another ordered a ‘lockdown.’ Stay home. Work from home. Close the schools. Close the restaurants. Everything was canceled. Millions of people lost their jobs.
But others, ‘essential workers’ – another phrase that barged into our vocabulary – had to continue to go to work in hospitals, pharmacies, and supermarkets, risking their lives on a daily basis.
Our lives changed. They became unrecognizable.
At first, it was not so bad. We needed a breath from our frenzied pace. But the months passed. Vacations to Greece were canceled.
But we still had a little stamina.
Cities began to reopen. Restaurants have found various creative ways to do a little business.
Then, citizens in about 140 cities in the United States began protesting after the assassination of George Floyd. Some were violent.
When the schools opened, there was confusion, anxiety, uncertainty. Online teaching started – but it is not enough.
The pain, the fatigue, the fear overwhelmed us. We waited for a sign from heaven – for a miracle: Medicine. A vaccine.
The elections did not help. The Coronavirus was politicized. The mask was turned into a political flag.
The second wave hit us even harder. The hospitals were full again.
So far, 80,500,000 have fallen ill worldwide. 1,760,000 have died.
But once again – as we are used to seeing in the history books – the Hellenes of the world performed their miracle. They discovered the vaccine. The factories are working 24/7. And our turn to be vaccinated will soon come.