That was 2020 – the year that was an itch we just couldn’t scratch.
It started with the devastating bushfires that engulfed parts of New South Wales and Victoria, which coined the term “Black Summer”. It seemed like the fires would never be extinguished, but they were, thanks to the herculean efforts of volunteer fire brigades across the country, but not before taking several lives, enormous property and stock losses and killing and maming millions of our unique wildlife.
While we were mourning the losses from the fires, Covid-19 entered our lives, turning the world as we know it upside down. We were forced into isolation – twice – many lost jobs, businesses closed and we learned to adapt to a new way of being. Many opted to work from home, parents reluctantly became home teachers and most of us have had to reassess and reset our lives.
Australians are nothing if not resilient and our resilience has shone through. As infection numbers became manageable, we have started to enjoy a return to freedom, still with some restrictions, but with a new awareness of our coping skills and indeed, of each other.
With some assistance and support from the Hepburn Shire, we have been talking to businesses within the region about how they have managed to keep their doors open and move into a period of recovery. For some it has been a renewed ‘business as usual’ with several businesses even expanding. On the whole, as businesses bounce back, there is an optimism about the future, but there is still caution about how the world turns in the next few months – understandable. We will be publishing their stories in the New Year online and in our first hard copy for twelve months to be released in early March.
It has been a hard year and whilst we don’t believe that the calendar flipping over on the 1st of January is going to bring about the miracles we all wish for, whatever it brings, it has to be better than 20bloody20.
So let’s look forward to a much brighter, healthier and happier 2021 when we can finally scratch that itch.