Express & Star comment: Action-packed 2020 not for faint-hearted
You want it all? In 2020, you’re getting it all, and not necessarily in a good way.
Devastating floods hit the region at the start of the year, and then the coronavirus storm broke and has extracted a deadly toll, with more to come and much to be worried about as winter edges ever closer.
The nation has been plunged into a recession, tens of thousands of people are being thrown out of work and children at school have had their learning disrupted and exams have been cancelled.
Then this week there has been the drama and the damage caused by thunder, lightning, and flooding. Once again the region is counting the cost of weather devastation.
Just when businesses need a break, a lot of them have taken another heavy blow. There are many images and clips on social media showing the range and extent of the damage. There is a lot of expensive clearing up to be done.
This year has been so bad so far that it would be nice to think we are over the worst. Yes, it would be nice to think that, but it would also be naive, as the world isn’t like that.
The economic barometer has been dropping like a stone and it is going to take months or, more likely, years for there to be a full recovery.
And if we know anything about the onset of winter it is that it is not exactly a guarantee of better weather, nor of better public health for that matter, and in the long cold months to come those groups identified as being particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 will have the additional vulnerability which is part and parcel of the winter months.
These are at least things that we can see coming and make reasonable plans for. There is still plenty of scope for the unexpected, something entirely new to ramp up the misery. After all, a year ago nobody expected 2020 to be like this.
Amid the tidal wave of misfortune there has been an upsurge in community spirit.
We need to hang on to that tenaciously – it may prove to be about the only good thing to come out of 2020.