By Amelia Strazdins
And just like that, another year draws to an end. As we rapidly approach the last day of 2021, we reflect back on the craziness that this year entailed. From sporting triumphs to unexpected earthquakes to space expeditions, 2021 brought with it some very unexpected surprises.
We were in lockdown. And then out of it. And then back in it. Borders were shut and then opened, and many Queenslanders, and Australians in general, spent significant periods of times in different states or countries, unable to return home. However, Queensland was lucky in escaping the extensive lockdowns that both Melbourne and Sydney faced. Melbourne even took out the title of the Longest Lockdowns collectively in the world. Towards the middle of the year international borders began to open, and the United Nations declared 2021 the Year of Peace and Trust.
Many events that had previously been cancelled took place this year, including renowned singing competition Eurovision. And of course, we cannot forget the summer Olympics, and Paralympics, held in Tokyo. Australian athletes undertook vigorous training, many Covid tests and self-isolation to represent our nation on the world stage. Performing to the world, from an empty stadium they did our country extremely proud bringing home forty-six medals in total. Speaking of sporting achievements, Ash Barty also made Australian history as she won her first Wimbledon Ladies Singles title. AFL and NRL competitions forged ahead, despite the many interruptions and relocations. And in a bit of a sore spot for us Queenslanders, we did unfortunately lose State of Origin. Sports were not the only big events of this year; international meetings and discussions began to shift focus to also readdress international concerns that had previously been placed on hold due to the pandemic. Top of that list was Climate Change, with major conferences such as COP26 being held in Glasgow.
This year also posed both a challenge and opportunity for businesses, especially small businesses, around Australia. With Queensland staying relatively open throughout the year, many businesses had the opportunity to rebuild and extend their trades. However, those based within the tourist industry continued to suffer the impacts of closed borders. And whilst our sports sector managed to escape relatively unscathed this year, much of our arts and music industry is still struggling as a result of capped capacities and a lack of funding. Many local musicians, artists and actors did not get the opportunity to display their talents this year. Here’s hoping 2022 will return the many prospects that 2021 did not.
2021 has been a mix of triumphs and tragedies, as a nation, as a community and as individuals. As we approach the end of another year, which has seemingly flown by, it is important to remember to continue to be kind and reflect on your year. We have yet again shown that in the face of fear and uncertainty we can band together. This year, as a nation, we’ve supported local businesses, many students have participated in online and home schooling and we’ve kept up to date on the latest mask restrictions. But most importantly, we’ve made it to the end of the year.
Wishing everyone a lovely holiday season and a Happy New Year. We’ll see you all in 2022!