2020, a year we will all remember, and tell tales about forever. The year when we got locked at home like zero grazed cattle. When normal human things like breathing and socializing became abnormal.
I mean, would you have imagined, in January 2020 that you would be wearing masks all year yet you aren’t a surgeon or a farmer spraying his miraa? Would you have thought going home for Christmas would be a life and death decision? Would you have imagined there would be such a big disruption to daily life?
I wouldn’t have guessed. Yet I’m personally grateful for the year 2020. Now, I know it’s not been a perfect year for most people, and I’m not lost to that fact, but here was my 2020.
Working from home all year
The day the first case of coronavirus was announced in Kenya on March 13th, I was working at home. Since then, I have always worked from home. My company, being tech-driven was able to shift all operations remotely for everyone in the company, worldwide. So we’ve been working from home. I have briefly gone to the office three times – yes, the offices remain open – but every time I have gone back home because no one else would be there.
I actually enjoy working from home, and as we have learned, this has been a very productive year. You would have thought we would be less productive, right? Playing with Calla, making tea all day, household chores, etc, right? No. It’s amazing how focused we have been this year, being mostly only accountable to ourselves. And, it’s great being at home with the family while working.
Kind of having your cake and eating it. 🙂
Thankfully, my work was not interrupted. We were actually busier than ever before, and I was part of the GeoPoll team that delivered exponential research solutions in 80 countries.
I directly worked in over 40 counties, from my dining table. 🙂
But I got infected with COVID-19
As at today, January 1, 2021, there are 96,251 coronavirus cases in Kenya. Three of those are Jeddy, Calla and myself. We tested positive for COVID-19 in July and went through a serious existential crisis as a family. Jeddy got admitted for eight days on oxygen, I got a physical and psychological trauma, and Calla remained Calla, her biggest disruption being unable to play with other kids outside.
But we came out of it stronger, with a message of hope and with a new outlook to life and we don’t regret getting infected, as much as we have no idea how we got it.
2020 was about local tourism
I have traveled outside the country at least once in most of the last couple of years. 2020 came and shamed all that, with the international lockdowns and everything else. Even locally in Kenya, traveling was a big issue in 2020, both enforced by the government’s lockdown and personal safety initiatives.
But after we got infected, even with all the precautions, we threw our hands in the air, and decided to venture out, starting with a few spots near Nairobi, then Meru before deciding to do a coastal roadtrip to Mombasa and South Coast. There has been other shorter trips, but that was quite the experience.
2020 was a learning year
2020 has had many lessons to a lot of people. For me, I have learned several things about life generally, about myself and even my career.
- Life is fleeting. Enjoy it while you can. That’s every minute of your life.
- Review your social life. It’s in moments of despair that you know which shoulders to lean on. Be a part of a support system. Support others as they support you in stormy times.
- Educate yourself. While I worked at my desk, I attended online classes for random courses. I have no proper degrees to show for it, but I am amazed at how easy it is to increase one’s skillset in this era.
- Get health insurance if you can. Healthcare is expensive in this country.
- Love technology. It may offer solutions to your life, to your business, to problems.
- Don’t judge people. You don’t know what they are going through, especially in these times.
- Be grateful for everything you have and do. Every minute of your life. It will make life easier.
- Put God first. Not a cliché, this is the truth. Understand with your whole being that God is the reason you’re here and you can’t do anything about your life – He enables you. Understand you’re a flag, and He’s the wind. Remind yourself of this every second of life lest you’re boastful.
- To swim, you must hold your breath. 🙂
How was 2020 for you? What lessons did you learn?