I’m having trouble remembering a year more bizarre than the one we are about to exit. One shouldn’t generalise; perhaps there are some of you who had a wonderful year, jam-packed with happiness and achievement — and more luck to you — but I suggest you may be in the minority if that’s the case. For the majority of the rest of us, 2020 was a real challenge.
The reasons many of us want to just put this year to bed are obvious, beginning of course with the you-know-what, which has resulted in deaths, loneliness, isolation, the destruction of small and medium-sized businesses, an epidemic of mental distress, and so on and so forth.
Not to mention months spent in the confines of ‘lockdown’ (a term which was previously reserved for what happened when it was time for lights-out in cell block D).
2020 also saw the most controversial US election ever. At time of writing, there are still legal challenges playing out in US courts questioning the integrity of the electoral process there. What’s probably most depressing is that the US public had the choice between Donald Trump, and all that he entails, and Joe Biden, a man who struggles to read autocues. And fair disclosure: I don’t have a dog in that fight.
Then there were the Australian bushfires, which killed 34 people and displaced thousands and showed how vulnerable humanity is in the face of nature’s power. California also felt the wrath of wildfires, with hundreds of thousands displaced and millions of acres devastated.
The list goes on, but detailing all of these events won’t make any of us feel any better. One significant positive to take from 2020 in Ireland is that pharmacists demonstrated that they are ready to go to bat for the good of public health, and at the drop of a hat, for that matter. The expertise and alacrity with which pharmacists performed patient care gymnastics in response to the virus outbreak was simply remarkable and set an example for the rest of the healthcare community.
Let’s hope that is remembered by the general public and the policy-makers when this is all over.
That said, it just remains to wish all Irish Pharmacist readers, contributors and industry partners and your families a happy, healthy and relaxing Christmas and New Year. Let’s recharge the batteries, as we know not what may be around the corner in 2021.
And go ahead and give your loved ones a hug — I promise I won’t tell.