A Reality Check for 2020

Dear Asian Youth,

A notion exists that 2020 has been the worst year the world has faced in decades, which has led to a prolonged hope for a better year in 2021. However, it is rarely mentioned that all the “tragedies”of 2020 were not just “freak events” hailed upon the world simply by bad luck. These occurrences are the product of several years of underlying stress, causing misfortunes and eventually revolutions throughout 2020.

The greatest repercussions of man-made mistakes in the past decade have mostly unfolded in 2020, including killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor that took place this year are the consequences of racism throughout history. Police brutality has always been an issue in the United States. The main problem is the lack of social representation the Black community has had in these past few years, leading to less acknowledgement gained for the Black Lives Matter movement and even less of a change to how the United States governs its people. Although, it is worth mentioning that with the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown and the increased use of social media by many American citizens, people are finally starting to notice how widespread police brutality is in America. In this case, 2020 has not harmed, but rather helped open eyes to the systemic racism that exists in the American society, and how there is a dire need for reformation.

For much of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most prevalent issue, revealing a lot about the lack of organization in certain parts of the world.For example, the U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. Though the struggle to fight COVID-19 is universal, the U.S., instead of dealing with the issue head-on, blamed China for being the “originator” of COVID-19. These accusations make no sense, as each country has played a major role in either preventing or unwittingly promoting the spread of the coronavirus in each respective country. The USA had only started to realize the extent of damage COVID-19 could cause in mid-March, when prompting schools and businesses to lockdown. Because coronavirus had emerged in late 2019 but it took around four months for the USA to understand the importance of safety precautions. Such a slow reaction time has resulted in serious defects to the overall vitality of the nation’s integrity.

While writing this I have realized how ironic it is that America’s slow reaction time does not only apply to the whole COVID-19 situation, it also pertains to how the Black Lives Matter movement has only become so popular recently, even though police brutality and other acts of racism have existed for decades.

Throughout the past few years, a main commonality that prolongs in global society is the detachment each nation—even citizen—has from the events that occur from within or from countries across the world. It might be either that many people don’t know about such internal or external world issues or they have the mindset of, “How does it concern me?”

It concerns everyone because we are all humans, and therefore, inhabitants of the Earth.

The pollution in California will not just stay inside California, it will contribute to trapping Earth’s heat inside of its atmosphere: global warming. A few months ago, Antarctica reached a high temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although you or your family might not be in danger of being sent to a concentration camp, put yourself in the shoes of those who are.

And the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon was the product of a lack of care, recklessness, that resulted in one of the most costly disasters in history. While the explosion contributed to an increased global pollution, it also directly destroyed families, businesses, and homes.

This all leads me to believe that true peace exists in unity and an increase of personal interest for the people who surround us.

The sky will continue to be polluted orange in California.

Uyghur genocide will persist in Xinjiang, China.

Explosions similar to the one in Beirut, Lebanon will increase in occurrences.

There is no other way to state this other than we need to start caring more.

The solution is empathy.

- Prerna K

Cover Photo Source: Sacrée Frangine