EDITORIAL: 2020 a Year That Was; 2021 a Year to Be

HOW do we wrap up a year that’s totally unprecedented? Unlike the years before, 2020 saw us navigating into unchartered waters; sailing into the unknown and not knowing where the wind would take us.

It is safe to say that many of the New Year resolutions made for this year were hardly achieved. These resolutions were probably put on the back burner as we took on a new normal to face the pandemic as an individual, as a family, as friends, as a nation and as citizens of the home we call Planet Earth.

Instead, we sailed into the unknown; taking on a leap of faith that every step we took would be in the right direction to stay safe and also to stay alive. Nine months down the road, we are still battling with the pandemic with hopes that a vaccine will at least keep the Covid-19 virus at bay. Strangers have become friends as we #KitaJagaKita.

On the bright side, the pandemic had brought about opportunities for the community to come together to help one another. The community rushed to the aid of the lower income groups to help them cushion the impact of the pandemic on their livelihoods by providing food and other essentials to get through the tough times. The new normal opened up new doors to friendships and partnerships in the community this year.

Getting used to staying at home and working from home took a bit of getting used to at the beginning. But over the months, many of us have adapted and reinvented ourselves to cope with the change especially when we come under the Conditional Movement Control Order.

The New Year beckons with renewed hope that things will be better in 2021. With hopes that the vaccine will be available in the first quarter of the year, many of us hope to regain some bit of our lives before the pandemic hit us. But we do realise that things will never be the same again.

What does the New Year hold for you? Are you making new plans which are more realistic? Have you reinvented yourself to get along better with the new normal?

At SJEcho, we are optimistic that we will come out of this pandemic stronger and take on the New Year in leaps and bounces. This community paper has also undergone changes and transformations in 2020. We have embraced the new normal while maintaining our identity and our objectives.

Our social media platforms on our website and Facebook keep readers up-to-date on what’s happening in their neighbourhoods. To this end, we have adopted new approaches to engage our readers – having introduced SJEcho Live Updates on both Whatsapp and Telegram to bring relevant news direct to our readers on their smartphones.

With 45,000 followers on our Facebook Page, we have established ourselves as the community’s news platform; providing genuine and accurate news to our readers while opening up avenues to receive feedback and information from them.

Embracing the new normal can be scary; but it can also be just as exciting. So let’s take a fresh step forward and welcome the New Year with renewed enthusiasm.