This year the world has shown what it means to be resilient and to inspire hope in others.
The events of 2020 have been unprecedented, and people have had to adapt to a new way of living. Whilst the world has changed dramatically, some things have not changed. People have demonstrated this year that we are resilient, full of hope and capable of profound empathy. Across the world, we have expressed solidarity with one another in the shared struggle that we have all faced, and it’s been incredibly inspiring.[Photo: oceanphotographyawards.com]
1. Brazil’s Christ The Redeemer statue was illuminated to show gratitude to essential workers
In Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, the magnificent statue of Christ The Redeemer normally attracts huge crowds of tourists and locals alike. However, this year Brazil has felt the impact of COVID-19 and people wanted to express their gratitude to the people who have worked through the crisis. Subsequently, the statue of Christ was illuminated in beautiful colours as an expression of thanks, and of solidarity and it was beautiful. Flags from countries struggling with the pandemic were projected onto the statue. Prayers were also said in front of the amazing display.
2. Celebrities donated money to help people cope with the pandemic
Kylie Jenner donated $1 million to LA area hospitals to help them pay for personal protective equipment. Rihanna also chipped in, donating $1.67 million to help provide assistance for domestic violence victims in LA, who were trapped in dangerous circumstances by the pandemic. The singer’s Clara Lionel Foundation also donated $5 million to help the world fight the pandemic, with the money going to organisations such as the World Health Organisation.
3. One World: Together At Home concert raised £35 million for the World Health Organisation
On 18th April, Lady Gaga streamed a concert worldwide for everyone sitting at home to appreciate. The likes of Lizzo, Stevie Wonder and Billie Eilish performed and the whole thing made a lot of money for the World Health Organisation, with whose name we have all become familiar with over the past year.
4. People sang from their balconies and clapped for healthcare workers
Across the world, people clapped for healthcare workers on a weekly basis and people were moved to tears by these beautiful moments. In Italy, people played instruments and sang for their neighbours. Meanwhile, in the UK people celebrated the 75th anniversary of Victory In Europe Day by singing Vera Lynn’s World War 2 anthem, ‘We’ll Meet Again’. People painted rainbows and hung them in their windows to inspire hope in others when people needed hope.
5. Healthcare workers wore photographs of their faces to reassure patients
COVID weary healthcare workers did what they do best and prioritised the needs of others. These heroes, that have spent the pandemic working long hours in hot and uncomfortable protective equipment wanted to connect with their patients as much as possible. Subsequently, the decision was made by many to attach photos of themselves to their clothing, so that the patients could recognise them and feel their human warmth when they needed it most.
6. People knelt for Black Lives Matter worldwide
On every continent in the world, people protested in support of Black Lives Matter. The globe reeled at what happened to George Floyd Jr. in May and decided to do something about it. Professional sportspeople kneeled during games to show their support and countless people attended socially distanced protests to show that solidarity is important, even (and especially) during a pandemic.
7. These widowed penguins had a cuddle
Okay, so penguins aren’t people. However, just look at them. These two widowed penguins comfort one another whilst appreciating the beautiful city lights. If these penguins don’t symbolise perfectly the value of love and kindness then we don’t know what does. It’s enough to turn your heart to jelly.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio started America’s Food Fund to feed the vulnerable
Leonardo DiCaprio has been an avid activist for a while and he certainly didn’t shy away from addressing the problems posed by the pandemic. Alongside Apple, the Ford Foundation and Laurene Powell Jobs, the film start created America’s Food Fund. It aims to help feed those who are most vulnerable in the United States. DiCaprio kicked the whole project off with a $12 million donation. Since then, many celebrities have pledged their support too.
9. People exercised together, at a distance
In Copenhagen, videos emerged of people encouraging one another to exercise in communal areas. Everyone kept their distance and fitness instructors used their knowledge to help people keep fit. It also offered an opportunity for people to see their neighbours and feel connected to one another, even if they were on their own at home.
10. People have worked tirelessly to create vaccines
Companies like Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have been working hard to create a vaccine. These companies are manned by people, who are aware of the pressure on them to get it right. Moreover, there are millions of people working to create the tools that companies like Pfizer need in order to create the vaccines. These silent heroes have been working hard through the pandemic, as have other key workers. They are a source of inspiration for us all.