Charlene Rolls | So here we are in 2021 – are we going to be okay?

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Charlene Rolls is YOU's editorial director.
Charlene Rolls is YOU's editorial director.

Are we going to be okay? 

I’ve heard this question being asked over and over in the past few days as the reality of 2021 kicks in. It’s usually the last in a series of questions. 

What will happen to the economy? Will our industry survive? When are things going to change on the health front? How are we going to turn things around? 

There are no easy answers and anyone who asserts anything with a great degree of certainty is being dishonest. 

Because the truth is nobody can tell exactly how the economy will be affected. 

We don’t know for sure which industries will survive or evolve nor if the vaccine is going to come fast enough to make 2021 a better year than 2020. 

And if anybody has worked out what the plans are for a successful turnaround, they’re not sharing them with the world. 

We have more questions than answers and, in many cases, more answers lead to more questions. 

It’s frustrating and demoralising in many ways. And scary because uncertainty breeds fear and anxiety in a way that can sneak up on you.  

READ MORE | How to manage stress during a pandemic

As for whether we’ll be okay – some of us won’t be. 

There are so many people who’ve lost the ones they love most in the world. Parents, partners, children, friends, colleagues . . . our social media feeds are filled with messages of condolences or heartrending farewell posts. 

Many have lost jobs without any clear prospects as more and more companies shrink their businesses or have to close up shop completely. 

And then there are the physical and mental effects of 2020 that have spilled over in 2021. I don’t think we’ve even started to fully comprehend the damage. 

READ MORE | How to know if you need medical help for your mental and emotional state

People are devastated, hurt, angry and broken. Everyone is suffering in one way or another – no matter how strong you are, you’d have to be inhuman not to feel awful on some level or the other.

We are quite remarkable in being able to pull together the shattered shards of our lives in order to carry on.


I do believe many of us will be okay. 

Maybe I’m naïve but I have so much faith in the human spirit and our ability to get through the roughest and toughest of times. We are quite remarkable in being able to pull together the shattered shards of our lives in order to carry on.

I’m not saying it will be easy by any measure. We still have a long, arduous journey ahead of us and we’re likely to see some sense of normality only towards the end of this year. 

But South Africans are resilient. We are without a doubt a special people who can rebuild and regroup despite several knocks. We don’t give up.  

After all, we have walked so many difficult paths in the past. And we’ve survived it.  

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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