WE were hoping for a better 2021. Now we are hoping for the same thing for 2022.
A world in turmoil continues to be floored by an unseen enemy that is making its presence felt.
As the COVID-19 virus continues its mutating march, spreading fear, death and uncertainty in its wake, mankind stands on the threshold of another year tired of battling the invisible foe that seems to have an answer for every retaliatory attempt to put it down since it made the scene in 2019.
From physical measures to contain the spread like keeping our distance from others, wearing masks and sanitising our hands to be rid of its influence, to vaccinations that are met with resistance and hope, the future still looks unclear as we step into 2022.
Governments have tried to get the better of the COVID-19 virus; from encouraging safe distancing, hand washing and mask wearing, before turning the screw with enforced lockdowns, curfews and work-from-home measures.
The noose is tightening as the urging to vaccinate is shifting to purging the unvaccinated from malls and offices.
Removing the liberties of the public is akin to criminalising those who do not conform to the larger plan, which is in itself hazy and constantly shifting.
In a short period of time, the world has grown to unhappily accept the systemic demands placed on the population, all in the name of health systems, and the spectre of death.
We’ve heard enough from the system and its mainstream echo chambers. Let’s hear what those forced to adopt these changes have to say about their hopes for 2022.
The general desire is for COVID-19 to leave, hopefully as suddenly as it appeared. That might be wishful thinking. But never say the human spirit has been thwarted by the unseen foe. There is still optimism and given the two years already flown by, fresh perspectives about what may give hope for a more manageable year ahead.
Walk The Talk
“I wish that in 2022, the multi-ministry taskforce can start making decisions about COVID-19 measures as if it is endemic rather than pandemic. The sudden desire to stop selling vaccine travel lane tickets for a month is not a decision made under endemic considerations but rather panic and fear. It is frustrating to hear one thing but have it acted out another way.” — Jason Chiam, educator, Singapore
“I hope the isolation of the last few years will show people how insignificant our social and political differences are.” — Dr Marc Sebastian Rerceretnam, author, Sydney
Time For Rebirth
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated. It keeps morphing into one avatar or the other and is engulfing humanity. I want to see the end of it in 2022. History shows that the Renaissance happened after the devastation of the Plague and famine in the middle ages in Europe. The nature of life is such that there is usually new energy and fresh beginning after a devastation. I hope the pandemic will fade away and the world will embrace new energy. I hope many path-breaking inventions will enhance the quality of our lives across all spheres.” — Aruna Srinivasan, author, Chennai, India
Live With It
“I hope the mindset of people on COVID-19 will come to a settled state. Embrace it! It’s what life will be moving forward.
“Yes we may lose someone we love to the virus, we may ourselves catch the virus one day … but if we know (with all the information available to us), and live responsibly, we will be able to accept the situation as it is, and move on with our lives, adapting it to a level of normalcy.
“Everything begins with the mindset – if we are able to settle the mindset, we’ll gain back control of our lives.” — Patrina Tan, retail specialist
Less Power Play
“I hope that the superpowers of the world come to their senses and dampen their rivalry, come together to deal with urgent global issues which threatens the continued existence of humankind.” — Gerard Ee, retired accountant, Singapore
Think Of The Greater Good
“I hope that the pandemic will be effectively downgraded to an endemic across the globe with equal/equitable distribution and access to vaccines/treatments for all nations’ people regardless of affordability to carry on living with a high degree of normality experienced during the pre-pandemic era.
“I hope that both corporate and political leaders will have only one agenda in fighting against climate change i.e., protecting Mother Nature, and transcend personal interests and misinformation whilst consumers eliminate overconsumption.
“I hope that families around the world will have/make more opportunities to strengthen their relationships based on love that will strengthen each member through affirmation and security giving rise to confident, resilient and purpose-driven lives that will build stronger communities devoid of prejudices, bigotry, racism, selfishness and hate.” — Dr Sanjay Kuttan, poet, Singapore
Return To Normalcy
“I’m almost afraid to hope for anything at the moment. However, I still hope that somehow our world is able to live with COVID-19 and return to a productive homeostasis where small businesses do not have to worry about supply chain collapses and people are able to move about without fear, visiting loved ones and celebrating social occasions.” — Barbara Maidment, entrepreneur, Margaret River, Australia
“My prayers are for an end to COVID-19 and being able to gather with more than five friends and family, as well as to travel again!” — Adam Abdur Rahman, banker, Singapore
“It’s not going to be any different from 2021. COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind. Everyone has screwed up one way or another in trying to outsmart the virus. Hopefully, we have learnt and are smarter.
“The problems with this year is the poor and fickle decisions made by many. Most of them are from the lack of information due to the reluctance to be transparent. It’s the ‘cover your ass’ syndrome that transpired throughout the country that creates this stress.
“My wish in 2022 is for all the ‘experts’ to be transparent and timely with information on the virus so that we can make decisions wisely to keep ourselves and all our loved ones — family, friends and the rest of the world — safe. — Steven Khoo, pilot, Singapore
“Currently we are battling a hidden enemy that is creating surprises in our world. Those who desire for things like travel should put it on hold until it’s safe to do so.” — Alphonso Soosay, audio recording engineer, Perth, Australia
“A seismic shift in values — more honesty, transparency, integrity — and less lies, half-truths and greed. This applies across the globe. Also, I hope the old adage is adopted in combating COVID-19: Prevention is better than cure! This goes beyond masks and hand sanitisers. Especially when there are existing proven safe, effective and inexpensive methods! Why don’t governments around the world focus less on vaccines and more on therapeutics, including everyday supplements and vitamins?
“Could it be that money has consumed the world? It certainly seems that way.”
— Eric Lee, executive coach, Singapore
Appreciate What’s In Hand
“There should be an increased awareness of mental health issues. There’s a lot of talk, but a serious gap exists with respect to knowledge. I hope that people get to continue whatever good things they have learnt throughout these two pandemic years — like enjoying a work life balance, the importance of health and family, understanding boundaries, and not getting sucked into the pressures of production, productivity and profits again when the world goes back to full speed, or, worse, higher speed to catch up with what was seemingly ‘lost’.” — Dionne Lim, singing teacher, Singapore
“In 2022, I hope we introduce a public holiday for all domestic helpers. It will be that one day a year for all of them to be able to see each other, and catch up.” — Adrian Tan, lawyer and author, Singapore
New Concepts To Develop
“Let’s hope for a better appreciation for nature and sustainability. To re-establish cultural norms for higher-quality human interactions — civil discussions and fair play. A focus on news and content that inspires a majority of humanity. Improve the human condition by increasing knowledge about our universe, programmes that deliver results for the greater good, overcoming adversity.
“Better funding of public goods through new approaches like Quadratic Funding. Greater wealth distribution by facilitating more people to participate in the global economy through new innovations like DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations). And developing a strategy to ‘nip in the bud’ people with with Narcissistic Personality Disorders aspiring for senior organisational roles in politics and corporations.” — Arun Devan, technopreneur, Singapore
“That the pandemic ends with covid virus mutating to a benign form like the common cold virus. That economies recover. That Leeds United avoid relegation. That people become more friendly and caring. That Certificate of Entitlement prices for cars come down.” – Dr Gerard Wong, optimistic and mindful medical professional, Singapore
Don’t Take Things For Granted
“2021 has been filled with its fair share of ups and downs. As COVID-19 continues to terrorise us, we have gradually learnt to live with it and are almost turning face masks into fashion items! The silver lining for me would have to be the reopening of the Singapore-Malaysia border which has made it possible to bring my fiancée home for the first time in two years. My key takeaway from this episode (not just 2021) is to never take things for granted and to always treasure our loved ones and the time spent with them because you won’t know when you will see them again.” — Daniel Chan, communications professional, Singapore
“I’d really like everyone to walk in the shoes of the ones struggling through various difficulties and just show a little kindness whether we live in ivory towers or the HDB towers.”
— Ravi Krishnan, entrepreneur, Singapore
“We have become addicted to outrage, a headlong journey into a world divided, polarised and without common ground. We have descended into superstition, jettisoning facts like the unwanted toys of our youth. I hope that 2022 brings the rehabilitation of civil discourse, scientific method and evidence-based decision making, so we can rationally debate the action required to address the challenges we face. Incumbent in this is the need for facts to regain their currency — this will require a profound understanding that we are not ‘entitled to our own facts’.
“Australia has politicised health and, everything else for that matter, so if we are to have any hope of flourishing in 2022, we need to move beyond the politics of ideology to something that serves humanity far more — this will require fierce empathy with all its foundations of compassion and courage and care and curiosity and collaboration.” — Dom Meli, leadership consultant, New South Wales, Australia
I hope for a continuation of the crypto market bull run so we can all make life-changing gains! — Alvin Lye, restaurateur and watch retailer, Singapore
“For 2022 I feel like it’s a great idea to focus on your inner world and inner growth. You will be much happier than chasing after the things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress the people you don’t like.
“The global economy will be unstable for this entire decade. So the best thing you can do is to build a strong foundation for yourself. That you can stand tall and stable like a mountain, and let the winds of change come and go. Use this extra time to be with yourself and build yourself up physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Use and combine whatever methods that work the best for you — exercise, healthy lifestyle, meditation, therapy, prayer and so on. Just make yourself self-reliant and build or join a community of like-minded friends.” – Andrej Uličný, digital nomad, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Time To Rebuild
“We should take better control of our lives and begin rebuilding lost relationships, friendships, hopes and dreams. Two years have given us enough time to reflect on how callous, indifferent, indulgent, ambitious negligent, opinionated and prejudicial we have become, and how our actions, indifference and negligence at home, at work and in society have damaged the very essence of humanity.
“Let us try looking inward at ourselves and make some serious efforts to contain and preserve what matters. Let us be more aware and actively protect our environment, reduce waste, refrain from overconsumption and overindulgence and support sustainability and ethical initiatives all around us. We should know by now how vulnerable we are and how our way of life has only complicated our vision of the future. We must not pass on the world in a worse form to the next generation than how we inherited it. Let the year 2022 be the year of Reflection, Hope and Faith. — Raj Kaul, entrepreneur, Melbourne, Australia
Fair Play Please
“I hope we can all learn to live with covid and take necessary precautions, but get on with our lives. Retail in malls is fuelled by confidence and certainty and we need the people to come out to eat and shop. I also hope VTL arrangements can continue to carry on. Lastly I wish that fair tenancy can be enforced soon and landlords work hand in hand with tenants to create a sustainable retail environment. Hopefully we do not head back to pre-covid days where rent increase was the only business model.” — Bernard Yang, retailer, Singapore
“I want my life back.” — P.N.Balji, author, Singapore
The views expressed are those of the respective commentators.