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2021: better days ahead?

With only three weeks into the new year some might doubt it.

By: Marta Rodriguez

Photo curtesy of Markéta Machová via Pixabay

After the catastrophic year that 2020 has been, many – if not all- were hoping for a fresh start and a better 2021. Albeit we are only two weeks into the new year, and it has already proven that it might not be any better than 2020. Here is why.

Many countries welcomed the year with a new lockdown, the UK included. Wales implemented its lockdown on the 20th of December, Northern Ireland on the 27th of December and Scotland and England moved from their tiered system into lockdown on the 5th of January. This has been the result of the new concerns caused by the new strain of the virus and, though vaccinations are still taking place, it remains uncertain of when lockdown will end.

The search for a ship that had disappeared for three days was suspended on the 2nd of January. The ship from the Bahamas, carrying 20 passengers, was due to arrive in Florida just before the turn of the year. After three days and a coverage of 17,000 square miles the boat was declared missing.

On the 6th of January, the United States saw an assault of the Capitol by Trump supporters. This assault, described by many as a coup, was a call to action from Trump to his supporters with the intention of preventing the certification of Biden’s election. Police has described the events as a ‘medieval battle’ as they had to face off against a mob of 15,000 people armed with clubs, pitchforks, metal poles, firearms and shields. Some, however, claimed that they were too lenient against the white rioters compared to the brutality police partook in against people of colour during the protests of the BLM movement.

For encouraging his supporters, Trump has not only had many of his social media platforms (including Facebook and Twitter) suspended, but has also been impeached for a second time. This is something that has never before happened in the History of the United States.

Moving across the world to Indonesia, the mayhem continues. On the 9th of January a Boeing 737-500 jet with 62 passengers disappeared over the Java Sea just four minutes after take-off. The plane fell 10,000 feet and crashed in the middle of the sea killing everyone on board. The black box containing flight data has been recovered and there are hopes to recover the cockpits voice recorder soon.

Indonesia has also faced an earthquake on the 15th of January and a volcano eruption on the 16th followed by multiple landslides. With its magnitude of 6.2 the earthquake struck Sulawesi Island killing 42 people and leaving many injured behind. Mitra Manakarra Hospital collapsed. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors. Mount Semeru in Java Island, one of the most active volcanoes in the area, also erupted, creating a cloud of ash that has already covered two villages. Residents in the nearby areas have been warned to be wary of possible ‘cold lava’ flowing down from the volcano.

Lastly, ice cream in China has tested positive for Covid-19. More than 4,800 boxes have been identified as contaminated after 3 samples were positive for Covid-19. 2,089 boxes have been sealed in storage, 1,812 have been dispatched to other provinces and, of the 935 that entered the local market in Tianjin, only 65 were sold. This has come together with more than 1,600 company employees being asked quarantine in case of contamination. Experts have suggested this has been a ‘one-off’ situation.

If these two weeks can predict anything of what 2021 has in store it seems that there is still a long road ahead until we can attain some level of normalcy.


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