One thing can be said for 2020: it gave us plenty to talk about.
COVID-19 and bushfires certainly dominated the conversation, but lockdown also gave us time to reflect on some of the things that truly make life worthwhile.
For many of us, 2020 was a time for introspection, and our opinion-writers were no exception.
Here are 12 things that had us talking this year. What still resonates with you?
David Murtagh’s satirical piece on magpies ruffled more than a few feathers. While some agreed with his rant against the “rotten, malevolent, dead-eyed bastards” that make his morning cycle a test of survival skills, others were quick to spring to the birds’ defence.
The isolation resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown was hard on the community but it also provided an opportunity to value and be grateful for the good things in our lives. For Kim Treasure, among other things, that was an old dog and children.
Having an extra adult around can make parenting for singles and couples so much easier. So why don’t more people live with others, Elka Wood wondered.
This summer is set to be very different along the NSW South Coast, both for residents and visitors to the popular holiday playground. Local Karyn Starmer was quick to lay out the welcome mat, but warned visitors that many people were still struggling with grief and loss.
Around the middle of the year, Ian Bushnell reflected on the strange but instructive time since COVID-19 disrupted our lives. He pulled together five lessons from the experience that he hoped would resonate widely.
Six months after fire tore through bushland from the mountains to the sea on the NSW South Coast, Kim Treasure looked back on surviving the New Year’s Eve bushfire horror, the aftermath, and what she thought needed to change.
Parenting has come a long way since the 1950s, when it was commonplace for children to be ‘seen and not heard’. While expectations on parenting have changed, Elka Wood argued there’s still a need to protect children in the modern world while giving them space to grow.
It’s probably fair to say we’ve all made some questionable purchases during 2020. There’s nothing like a lockdown to encourage online binges at Dan Murphy’s, Amazon and eBay, not to mention sneaky trips to Bunnings to buy all manner of household items that suddenly seem crucial. But Kim Treasure took it a step further. Her COVID-19 present to herself was a horse.
On a deserted NSW South Coast beach, Elka Wood discovered the isolation of COVID-19 restrictions could be a liberating experience and pondered whether this is the life we all actually crave.
The Black Summer bushfires brought out the best in humanity as communities rallied together, but Kim Treasure felt like COVID-19 brought out the worst.
After years of venal, shallow politics, Genevieve Jacobs believes it’s ordinary Australians who will bear the burden of the bushfire catastrophe for years to come as the mental health toll and the weight of rebuilding shattered communities plays out.
NSW South Coast GP Dr Michelle Hamrosi believes the Black Summer bushfire disaster shows that the future is here. In the wake of the New Year’s Eve crisis, she said all Australians should be asking for action on climate change.