Glimmer of hope as we usher into a Happy New Year

Despite years of uncertainty and despair because of a global pandemic, life moved on, teaching us that no obstacles can stop us. People will speak, powerful will have to listen and our collective voice can change the world.  At this juncture when we bid adieu to 2022 and herald the new year, we can hope to see a beacon of light at the end of a dark tunnel.

No doubt, recently China has witnessed a surge in cases while some spread has also been reported from Japan, South Korea, USA, France, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, but thankfully, India has reported just about 150 cases during this period. Leading vaccinologists reason that in India, 97 per cent of the people have received the first Covid shot, 90 per cent have received both and 27 per cent people have already been boosted.  They say that in India, people have developed hybrid immunity as a majority has been infected and vaccinated.  This provides protection from the recent infections reported from China and other countries.

WHO Emergencies chief, Dr. Michael Ryan has said. “Vaccination is the exit strategy from omicron.”  The WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on December 21 quipped, “We are hopeful that each of these emergencies — Covid-19, Mpox and Ebola — will be declared over at different points next year.” The WHO chief notes, “Certainly, we are in a much better place with the pandemic than we were a year ago.”

As the year came to a close, the FIFA World Cup also gave us a message of hope that this Cup was no more the monopoly of European nations. When cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar in his tweet compared India’s 2011 cricket World Cup journey with Argentina’s campaign in this FIFA World Cup, it left a lesson for India, currently ranked 106 by FIFA.  The lesson is that a nation of 1.4 billion too can prove its supremacy in the world’s most enchanting sporting endeavour.  Saudi Arabia proved this point when it kicked off its campaign with a 2-1 comeback win against champions Argentina bringing to an end Argentina’s 36 match unbeaten streak. The tournament saw the best-ever performance by non-European and non-South American teams.  Of course, one of the all-time greats of football, Messi has undoubtedly earned the distinction of being revered on a par with legendary Diego Maradona.

All that gives us a glimmer of hope in times of despair.  It is said that when life’s circumstances drop us to our knees, we feel a loss of hope but by understanding that hope is a choice, we can cope better and keep it alive. Norman Vincent Peale, the author of best-selling book ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, suggested, “Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit”.