The year 2020 is soon coming to an end. One never thought that we would finally say these words. It certainly seems to have felt like the longest year of our lives. It has been the one most people in this world will not want to re-live again even in memory. Death, illness and grief were the key markers for millions- a number which still grows. The cover of Time magazine shows 2020 on it with a red “X” through it and the words ‘worst year ever” underneath it. It has only depicted the “X” on the cover a few times in history. Commonly used words such as Economic disarray, downfall and uncertainty, have been part of our regular conversations. As vaccines are now being administered to medics all over the world and soon to the rest of the tiers, the process begins to towards healing. However, a grieving world will be hard to recover from as millions have lost their lives. Loved ones of victims or those who have survived are still in a state of shock looking to means of emotional and physical recovery and support. Living in the new normal as we termed it was the one thing that kept us going. All of us robotically doing the needful- confined, separated and isolated. Mask up, Wash hands, sanitize (basically wash everything) has become our daily mantra. The new normal had begun but would it now be ending? One thinks that the new normal will now remain as the normal to be in permanently and it is not going to end anytime soon. Would resetting our lifestyles overall be a thing to pay further attention to? It is something we will be thinking of a lot more in the future. Life after lockdowns lifting did a few things. It outlined a clear division in the way people think. Although there are some people who took to going about their business by giving a disclaimer with a nonchalant attitude, more people than not have wanted to take precautions and seek a permanent way to live in the new normal. Most of these people saw their friends and family members falling victim to the global pandemic the novel coronavirus. The divide in people not wanting to take precautions have distanced people from each other and caused constraints. Those who are not into taking precautions have been blacklisted as being foolhardy and rightly so. Being safe is the key to survival for many. In terms of losing life, falling greatly ill or losing a loved one, it is not a big ask to take precautions. The thinking is if not do it for yourself then take others into consideration. As the new year comes around there will be many things for us to think about but one thing is sure as we all will unanimously agree – let us put 2020 to rest. This year what has also happened is that the world has sought a new way of life and is considering adopting healthy options permanently. People who have survived the virus tell me of their lifestyle changes and families tell of how their eating habits have become completely altered. One person from New York told me recently that even after they get the vaccine they will not be socializing like they did before. They will still be wearing masks permanently as now all they wanted to do was be safe form other things- even the common flu. People will certainly be resetting the way they live their lives. Fewer people in groups, more distancing, more precautions, more efforts to focus on things that matter. Family values have certainly resurfaced. People spending more time at home got closer to their families and focused on their wellbeing. Parents have told me how they now have developed closer bonds with children who were being schooled at home for months. Although they were glad once schools opened as the initial months were tough having the children home, there was more a feeling that they felt better that they were home safe where they could keep an eye on them. A direct impact has also been a shift focus on personal wealth- people now just want to spend money elsewhere rather than with socializing with friends and acquaintances. A small example of this is the greater focus has come to the habitats we live in. This report is true for many home stores and the industry which saw a surge in sales. A person in the furniture business here told me how they were almost sold out after the first lockdown lifted. It seemed peoples focus had just changed in making their lives inside their homes more comfortable. This, literally as the walls of the house were what we had been seeing for months on end. “Life will never be the same even after the vaccine” a corona survivor told me. He battles other complications which have propped up due to low immunity and organ damage due of Covid-19. This mindset is more firm for many than other things which have brought unpredictability and uncertainty. People are learning to adapt to the situation of the world by becoming more intelligent in the way they live their lives. Now that the world has learned to take all the precautions, they have also systematically trained themselves to prioritize on their standard of living. It is not only in adapting to hygiene and basic SOP’s but holistically towards healthier life options as well that impact their daily lives. The damage was not just physical that left a scar but also psychological that has affected people in altering their lifestyles. Everybody knows somebody who had either had the infection who has passed way of it. The timelines of people on social media are full as we lay people to rest. Although the Christmas cheer this year was a lot less as people opted not to have entire families over for the holiday it did not take away the spirit of hope and survival. No matter whether we observed it or did not, human beings did reach out to one another and we said a prayer in gratitude for everybody being safely home and for our friends and loved ones who have survived. If any good came out of this year then it was in the form of humanity especially in terms of assistance and help by way of others. The way Pakistan handled things has been greatly acknowledged. One looks now towards how they will handle the distribution of the vaccine. The relief packages distributed to the daily income wagers as well as those being highly affected in the early weeks of lockdown was truly commendable and noted internationally as well. If one does not want to give any party the credit, then one can certainly give credit to the Pakistani people on the whole in trying to work through a global pandemic with the means and resources they had. This new year we look forward to the hope of recovery and the long process of getting back on the track. We will need to be thinking of those less fortunate than others and one looks towards those in power to alleviate economic disparities by further strengthening their programs and accounting for those who should not be left behind. Specifically, now as the world faces massive unemployment with so many sectors and industries closing down or reducing manpower drastically. As the new year comes around there will be many things for us to think about but one thing is sure as we all will unanimously agree – let us put 2020 to rest. The writer is known for her articles on cultural impact.