We are absolutely amazing people – nothing and no one will stop humans from adopting and adapting. Genius resilience, survivors, masters of this planet and conquerors of space.
That is simply people.
History will continue to record the changes made by Coronavirus on humanity beginning with the end of 2019. In this article, I will touch on the quick development of online virtual art during Coronavirus and I will add some of the events which took place in 2020 and 2021.
For several years, we have been developing our “online virtual world” but we were still dragging our feet to make a jump into this new world. But within a short period of time of the first Coronavirus lockdown, online education almost became the norm. Most businesses around the world transformed into online business operations. Probably more than half of the entire world workforce worked online – the cloud business became a reality for the present and future. We all had to evolve.
So did the art industry. It was not by choice and it was not an afterthought, Coronavirus forced the art institutions to adopt the digital online system to provide access to exhibitions, events and education.
According to the Alliance of American Museums, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam had its lowest attendance since 1964, but the museum experienced a 23 percent increase in the number of its social media followers and witnessed millions of unique visits to its website including its virtual collection.
With the move to online exhibitions, people were no longer restricted by geography, cost or time. They can view all the collections from the comfort of their chair. Online attendance became the norm in 2020.
I believe the art industry will continue to incorporate online systems as a way to connect to larger audiences even after COVID lockdown and restrictions. The art industry has already attracted a large audience through online and social media.
“Bringing people together, inspiring, soothing and sharing: these are the powers of art, the importance of which has been made emphatically obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic”, Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO.
The Fight Against Coronavirus
2020 was the year that shook the entire world with a serious challenge – how vulnerable we are to new viruses. It has been a horrible year with the tragic loss of many lives. The year that has changed life almost overnight.
But, the human spirit shines brightest in times of despair and great need. The resilience, determination and commitment of people around the world to tackle COVID-19 head-on made all the difference. The only way to solve such a global crisis is together.
A crisis often rallies people to come together – we all need each other.
A crisis reminds us of what really matters and how important relationships are, both personal and professional.
We saw people come together to help others facing unnerving odds, as allies and advocates for not only their friends and community members, but for people that may never meet – providing all sorts of support amid a crisis.
How grateful we are for the extraordinary efforts of the health services who risked their own lives to save lives, who have had to manage a crisis like nothing any of us have ever experienced.
People across the globe proved that there is no limit to what we can do if we really set our mind to it and work together.
How good it made us feel to do something that helped someone else.
I have never experienced it before, how all the people in the world stood together to fight the pandemic and fight back we all did. But this time we didn’t use bullets or bombs. We used a more effective weapon, we used humanity.
But surely we all have a newfound sense of appreciation for the value and comfort of our family, our friends and the things we all love to do.
2020 is definitely a year to remember.
Events in 2020/2021
Around this time last year, I wrote a similar article about events in 2020, 100 Days Lockdown 2020. The following are some of the events which took place from late 2020 to August 2021.
Sean Connery died at the age of 90 on 31 October 2020. Sir Sean was the first actor to portray fictional British secret agent James Bond films. He was the star actor in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. He was a Scottish actor born on 25 August 1930.
- Diego Maradona died of cardiac arrest at the age of 60 on 25 November 2020. Maradona was known for scoring a goal with his hand during the Argentina v England quarter-final match of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The goal took place on 22 June 1986 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. “The Hand of God” was a phrase used by Maradona to describe his goal.
The First Country To Approve The First COVID-19 Vaccine
image source: bioworld
On 2 December 2020, the UK became the first country to approve the new Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Enough was ordered to vaccinate 20 million people.
The First Person in the World To Be COVID-19 Vaccinated
On 8 December 2020, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to be vaccinated with it.
- The Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, made a televised address to the nation on 4 January 2021 announcing a third lockdown in England from 5 January. The Government’s slogan was changed back to “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”
Brexit Finally Happened
The UK left the EU officially on 31 January 2020, 11:00pm GMT. This began a transition period that ended on 31 December 2020, 11pm GMT. The rules governing the new relationship between the UK and the EU took effect from 1 January 2021.
The UK is the first and so far, the only country that has left the EU after47 years of being a member of the EU.
The UK first joined the European Economic Community (EEC) on 1 January 1973, which was later renamed the European Union (EU).
Prince Harry and Meghan TV Interview.
On 7 March 2021, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, appeared in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which the Duchess revealed her suicidal thoughts, racism by an unnamed family member, and other concerns about the Royal Family.
- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elisabeth’s husband, died in Windsor Castle on the morning of 9 April 2021, at the age of 99, two months before his 100th birthday. The Duke was the longest serving royal consort in British history. His funeral took place on 17 April.
Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, 15 to 25 April 2021
image source: seeker
Cherry Blossom (花見)Festivals in Japan are held in many towns and cities across the country every year around Spring time during cherry blossom season.
This year, some festivals were cancelled due to Coronavirus.
National Tea Day on 21 April 2021.
image source: stockfree images
Tea is said to be the second most popular drink after water and there is nothing more classically British than afternoon tea. The National Tea Day began in 2016 and the date of 21 April was chosen because it is also Queen Elizabeth’s birthday.
Tea was originally introduced to Britain by China in the 1650’s, but it was Catherine of Braganza who made the beverage popular in England. In 1662, Catherine, a Portuguese princess, married King Charles II and her dowry included several crates of loose-leaf tea and she continued drinking tea every day. Soon, the royal court adopted tea drinking.
“Tea” in Britain can be a drink or a meal. The Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell, introduced afternoon tea during the late 1840’s which she shared it with friends.
Turkey is known to drink most tea in the world, followed by Ireland and the UK in the third place.
Milk – before or after the tea? A question that still provokes many an argument. Most people first pour the tea in the cup and then add milk. But others disagree. It is believed that the wealthy people show off their wealth using better quality porcelain cups that could withstand the temperature of very hot tea. People who had lower-quality cups needed to first pour the milk so that the cup would not break.
(9 – 15 August 2021, Afternoon Tea Week celebrates the British tradition of afternoon tea – the nation’s favourite pastime).
“Fancy a cuppa?” “Oh, I’d love one”.
image source: photostockeditor
It is an annual awareness day in the UK that celebrates a great traditional British dish. It is promoted by NEODA (the National Edible Oil Distributors Association). Fish and chips is Britain’s traditional fast-food made of fish fried in batter and fried chips (not French Fries). It is believed that the first fish and chip shop goes back to the 17th century and then developed into small, family run businesses. Cheap and filling and became a regular Friday meal as a payday treat.
There is something special about this humble but delicious meal so steeped in British tradition. Fish & Chip Day itself began in 2015.
Interesting little fact about potato. It is the world’s fourth larges food crop, following rice, wheat and maize. The Inca Indians in Peru is believed to be the first to cultivate potatoes around 8000 BC. In 1536, Spain conquered Peru and discovered potato and brought it to Europe. In 1589, Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potato to Ireland. It took nearly 40 years for the potato to spread to the rest of Europe.
It Almost Came Home, England lose 3-2 to Italy in Penalty Shootouts in Euro 2020 Final.
image source: UEFA
UEFA Euro 2020, or simply Euro 2020 – the 16th UEFA European Championship was originally scheduled to run from 12 June to 12 July 2020, but it was postponed due to COVID-19 and rescheduled for 11 June to 11 July 2021. It kept the name UEFA Euro 2020.
Portugal won the last tournament in 2016 in France, but were eliminated in round 16 by Belgium.
Unfortunately, on Sunday 11 July 2020 football didn’t come home as Italy won the final Euro 2020 on penalties 3 -2 following a 1 – 1 draw extra time. It was England’s first appearance in the final of UEFA Championship.
“It’s coming home” emerged from the 1996 hit single “Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)” which was written by comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner and performed by The Lightning Seeds. It was dubbed as the official anthem of Euro 1996 when England hosted the tournament.
The song was named so as it was the first time England were hosting a major international football tournament since the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In the 1966 FIFA World Cup, England had defeated West Germany at Wembley (30 July 1966, England 4, West Germany 2) in the final to win the trophy. And hence, fans genuinely started believing that England can once again repeat the history and win a major international trophy at home.
Where has the EURO final been held?
The final has previously been hosted by 14 different venues in 12 countries.
1960: Parc des Princes, Paris (France)
1964: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid (Spain)
1968: Stadio Olimpico, Rome (Italy)
1972: Roi Baudouin, Brussels (Belgium)
1976: Stadion FK Crvena zvezda, Belgrade (Yugoslavia)
1980: Stadio Olimpico, Rome (Italy)
1984: Parc des Princes, Paris (France)
1988: Olympiastadion, Munich (Germany)
1992: Ullevi, Gothenburg (Sweden)
1996: Wembley Stadium, London (England)
2000: Feijenoord Stadium, Rotterdam (Netherlands)
2004: Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon (Portugal)
2008: Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna (Austria)
2012: NSK Olimpiyskyi, Kyiv (Ukraine)
2016: Stade de France, Saint-Denis (France)
2020: Wembley Stadium, London (England)
Freedom Day, 19 July 2021.
“Freedom Day” in England when most of the remaining legal COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Wearing of face masks and social distancing will not be a legal requirement. Large events will be permitted and fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from abroad will not need to self-isolate.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, advised to still proceed with caution and warned that the pandemic is still not over.
Approximately 88% of adults in the UK have had their first vaccine and around 68% have had both. As a result, vaccinations have been a success as the number of hospital admissions and deaths is much lower that before the vaccination had begun.
(As of 21 July 2021, there have been 5.5 million coronavirus cases and 128,800 deaths in the UK).
Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 – 年夏季オリンピック
The Summer Olympic Games ran from 23 July to 8 August 2021. It was postponed last year due to COVID-19 as it was originally scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020.
The games went ahead but they were held in empty stadiums amid widespread public opposition.
This is the fourth time the Olympic Games are held in Japan. The firs time it was held in Tokyo 1964, Sapporo 1972 and Nagano 1998.
It would be interesting to share your thoughts on other events so far this year. Please feel free to add your comments.