Stop the ride I want to get off | Blaise Tapp

The Mad Mouse rollercoaster in Southsea. Blaise thinks 202 has had even more ups and downs than a fairground rideThe Mad Mouse rollercoaster in Southsea. Blaise thinks 202 has had even more ups and downs than a fairground ride
The Mad Mouse rollercoaster in Southsea. Blaise thinks 202 has had even more ups and downs than a fairground ride
The year 2016, they said, was a one-off, 12 months that brought us Brexit, Trump’s election triumph, not to mention the deaths of a host of household names.

We haven’t had to wait that long for it to be topped, given that we are less than halfway through 2020 and it is already officially the most bonkers year in living memory. It has been so insane that you could be forgiven for forgetting that it started with genuine concerns that the most unpredictable of all American presidents might lead us into World War Three after his order to kill Iran’s top general with an airstrike in Iraq.

It would be easy to describe the year since as a rollercoaster but rollercoasters come to a halt once in a while and there is no sign of us getting off this wild ride any time soon.

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For the past three months, the majority of the world’s population has been living through what seems like the plot to a big-budget Will Smith movie, with the death and hardship wreaked by COVID-19 reminding us that it is horribly real.

Not only are we now facing the real prospect of the mother of all global recessions, which is likely to bring further suffering to many, but there is not a single person on the planet who can tell us when life will genuinely return to normal.

All of this is before you get to the extraordinary events of the past few weeks, where hundreds of thousands of people have broken social gathering rules to make a stand against racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

While there have been flashpoints of violence at some of the larger protests both in America and here in the UK, most of the Black Lives Matters demonstrations have been peaceful with ordinary folk of all backgrounds turning out in the unlikeliest of places such as Weymouth and Worthing to show their support.

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While there is no way of knowing for sure, it seems that the tremendous community spirit that has reared its head since March’s lockdown has in some way inspired some people to take to the streets to protest against racial inequality.

There is a real sense that people genuinely feel that now is the time that real change can be achieved and who can blame them? Since millions gained some precious extra time in early Spring, it seems that the majority have started to take more notice of what is happening around them with some carrying out random acts of kindness such as looking out for neighbours they might not have known before.

The symbolism of standing on doorsteps for two minutes to applaud our frontline workers every Thursday only enhanced the sense of togetherness and was the highlight of lockdown for many and I don’t mind admitting that I miss it In fact, last Thursday, the first week the nation stopped doing it, I did venture outside at 8pm under the pretext of putting the bins out but secretly hoping that others in my street had decided to carry on. They hadn’t.

While it is a safe bet to assume there are plenty of twists and turns left in 2020, the hope is that this will be remembered as the year that we came together.