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Merry Christmas 2023 and hello the new year

Howdy Merry Christmas 2023 and a Happy New 2024! ‘Tis is time of the season to be Merry. It is this time of the year again where the streets are decked with Xmas lighting, Christmas shopping is abound. In just a few days time, we all bid farewell to 2023 and welcome the new year of 2024.

Orchard road all decked out in Xmas lighting
Orchard road all decked out in Xmas lighting.

2023 in review

As we get caught up preparing the Christmas tree, gifts and presents, now it is a good time to reflect on the past year, particularly what world events has taught us. Notably, 2023 was indeed a year of many interesting happenings, it was a year of change and challenges both globally and at home.

Also, 2023 was a year that tested our resilience, our adaptability and humanity. Looking back, the year does indeed had lots of up and down in the news. Lets all recount some of the major events that shaped the world in 2023 were:

The end of COVID-19 pandemic lock-downs

And when will we ever see the Covid-19 pandemic ending? The end is at sight. Well, only after over two years of lock-downs and restrictions. Thankfully recently, WHO (World Health Organization) finally declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic from June 2023.

Furthermore, the re-opening of borders brought growth to economies and saw the return of travel (or “revenge travel” for that matter). Hospitality and air travel boomed. This reopening was a huge relief around the world, particularly economies fearing an upcoming technical recessions. those who suffered from the health, social, and economic impacts of the lock-down which came from the virus. Notably, the reopening also marked a new beginning for many who had to adjust to the new normal of living in a post-pandemic world.

On-going global war conflicts

What does it takes to end a war? Moreover, the highly visible Ukraine-Russian war conflict has extended into nearly it’s 2th year, with not much an end in sight. Since 2014, there had been much unrest between both Russian and Ukraine, with the global stage claiming that Russia had violated the 2015 Minsk agreements and sparking a global crisis.

Things are not better for the Israeli-Gaza conflict too as the fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies too. Notably, the conflict claimed thousands of lives and displacing millions of people. The conflict also affected global food supply chains such as grain, resulting in higher global food prices. On the news, the international community condemned the war aggression, and imposed sanctions, while also providing military and humanitarian aid to needed parties

Also, we do hope the war ends with peace in-sight. However, despite ceasefire brokered by countries of interest, there still appear to be unrest happening between on the daily news with lives lost day to day. The wars we see now around the world reminds all of the fragility of peace and the importance of upholding international peace and closure for all parties.

Escalating and living with climate change

Furthermore, 2023 was the hottest year on record. We saw the mercury hit a global average temperature 1.1°C higher than the pre-industrial levels. The greenhouse effect- a major contributor to global warming traps heat within our atmosphere which messes up earth’s global currents. This has the detrimental effect of making wet places wetter and dry places drier (otherwise also known as extreme weather). Notably, this shift in the natural balances of nature resulted in prolonged droughts, wildfires, floods, and storms we see on the news around the world. This resulting in the livelihood and ecosystem of millions globally.

Additionally, the most devastating event was the wildfire that ravaged Australia, and Greece in 2023, with the latter killing more than 200 people and destroying thousands of homes.

Also, the climate disaster showed us the urgency of addressing climate change. There is a pressing need for collective action and cooperation. This year saw the controversial COP28 held in Dubai, humorously chaired by an oil state. Additionally, advancements of plans to address climate change by global leaders at the COP28 summit in Glasgow November 2023. We do hope that countries do priorities climate change and stick to the  binding agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2050. This, over usual politcal scorecards like GDP or economic growth, with climate usually an afterthought.

Notably scientific breakthroughs in medicine and tech

Despite the challenges and hardships of 2023, there were some positive upsides in benefit for people. We saw developments and innovations that improved our lives, some of the notable breakthroughs includes the approval of a new malaria vaccine by the World Health Organization in April 2023.

Also, what this could mean is preventing millions of deaths and infections in tropical countries. Space launch companies SpaceX and Blue Origin got one step closer into making space launches more affordable since the NASA days. Also, we saw the launch of the first commercial space tourism flight by Virgin Galactic in December 2023. This potentially opening up a new frontier of exploration and adventure for ordinary people.

Hence, wrapping up these 2023 events and achievements, it definitely taught us some valuable lessons. It does inspires us to strive for a better future. They also challenged us to reflect on our own lives and how we as a collective people can contribute to the world in a positive way for a greater good.

Merry Christmas 2023 and hello the new year
Merry Christmas 2023 and hello the new year.

All in all, as we all enter 2024, let us remember the highs and lows of 2023. There is lots to learn and build on these learning pointers for the new year. So, let’s us also express our gratitude for the people who supported us, the opportunities that came our way, and the experiences that enriched us. Maybe this will help in our resolutions for the coming year too. As 2023 comes to a close, let us wish each other a Merry Christmas and a happy new year, full of joy, peace, and love. Hello 2024!

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