Nothing would make quite literally everybody in the world happier in the new year than a quick and reliable cure to the coronavirus. For never has the entire world marked the end of one year and the beginning of another on such a united note – every person in every country is either suffering or living in fear, at the same time, like not seen in recent history. And while there is now some light at the end of this tunnel, because there are finally a number of vaccines in the market, there’s also the added complication of the new variant of Covid-19 that spreads much faster and the fact that all these vaccines have been rushed into production and none of them have been tested for long term effects.

The pandemic is also holding the global economy hostage, which is making things much worse for even those people who are not affected by the virus at all. Reduced salaries, increased unemployment and the spread of poverty on a dangerous scale all combine to make the new normal. After all, it is for a reason that respected international institutions like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have warned of “famines of biblical proportions” if the pandemic lasts beyond a certain time frame.

It is also very concerning that more than a year into this problem world authorities are still struggling with it. If anything, the strengthening of the second wave and now the discovery of a new, more dangerous strain go to show that no progress worth mentioning has been made at all and as yet the international community is still very much behind the curve on the matter. Still, the progress that some companies have been able to make with the vaccines gives hope. The going theory now is that if they have come this far in only 11 months, their products will only get better with time. Hopefully they will be able to bring the cure to market in time, and make it accessible to enough people, to counter the risks of the strengthening second wave. If 2021 can deliver just this much, it would be enough to remember it as a year that stands out in the long march of mankind. *


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