Goodbye 2020 - A year to forget
There can be no debate about the fact that this has been an unprecedented year, which has shaken up all mankind and given us a lot of pain and heartache. It's also provided us many new terms and practices, which I cannot wait to discard. In fact there is little about 2020, that I want to take with me to 2021. It's a year I want to forget. Like a bad dream you wish never happened.
One of the few benefits of the Covid pandemic was the blue skies and cleaner air that we experienced.
While I don't want to remember anything about 2020, there are a couple of things and images, which are imbedded in my mind. And foremost amongst these are the blue skies and pollution free air we experienced during the lockdown months and immediately after. Yes one of the silver linings of the Covid pandemic was that the pollution levels all over India reduced considerably. With many factories shut, all construction activity halted and vehicles off our roads and even planes not flying, we witnessed a "Cleaning Due to Corona" of our country and planet.
Even the sea around cities like Mumbai, turned blue, something not seen in a very long time.
Many city dwellers had never seen such blue skies. Even Mumbai saw the bluest of skies, the likes of which had not been witnessed in a couple of decades or more. In fact the skies and even sea were so blue, that social media was teeming with photographs posted by the delighted and amazed residents of Mumbai. The AQI (air quality index) was also in the region of 50, which is considered to be good. With such clear air, the visibility was excellent too and in the range of about 15 to 16 kms. Sadly now after relaxation of the lockdown, Mumbai's AQI has gone back to being between 200 and 300 (visibility 1.5 to 2 kms), which is high and harmful for health.
The AQI was around 50 then, which sadly has again climbed to over 200 now.
Blue skies and good AQI levels, were one of the few beneficial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Another thing which we experienced in many of our cities and towns was the appearance of wild animals. Yes, with humans locked indoors, the wild residents of the great outdoors stepped out to check out our cities and social media was buzzing with images and videos of wild animals strolling through our streets.
Many cars were left unattended for months and got really dirty.
Another image and memory, which will stay with me are the cars abandoned and deserted on our roads during the lockdown. So many of them just sat idle and got dirty. Never before have I seen such grimy and mucky vehicles. So many were coated with multiple layers of dust and covered with bird droppings and fallen leaves and branches. Flat or dead batteries and deflated tyres due to disuse, were also common.
Many tyres deflated due to disuse, and the cars were covered with bird droppings and even leaves and branches.
When the pandemic hit India, one video of a politician at a function saying "Go Corona Go" went viral. Now should we say "Go 2020, Go".
A typical "Lockdown Car".