December 29, 2020

Goodbye 2020 – So What Will 2021 Bring?

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

In one of my first blogs in March 2020, which really does feel like a previous life ago when COVID-19 hit, I wrote a piece Ten COVID-19 Reasons for Optimism Inside and Outside the World of Canadian Immigration. I thought for my last blog of 2020, I would revisit those ten reasons for optimism to determine nine months later where we find ourselves:

1.First, the front-line health care responders, border officials and many others continue to carry and provide essential services for all of our collective sustenance, health and safety. They are to be acknowledged and commended. 

They have and continue to perform an incredible service.  There are really no words. They face a daunting winter in Canada like much of the world but they will be the reason many lives are spared.  

2. We cannot underestimate the power of modern medical technology and the ongoing international collaboration between many countries, including Canada. In under four months, vaccines are already at clinical trial stages, evidencing the speed at which the medical community has mobilized.  

The fact that a vaccine is being administered to Canadians and many throughout the world in 2020 is beyond what was the most optimistic projection.  Just wonderful.

3. Given the billions of dollars at stake, the world is undoubtedly marshalling its resources to find a solution.

What the world can accomplish when it works together.  The advancements   that resulted in the leading vaccines may revolutionize the world of medicine and lead to many new therapies and targeted treatments.

4. Countries have imposed strong measures to flatten the curve, and the results will soon bear out even though it does not feel like it right now – China for one is showing signs of the benefits of restricted travel, quarantining and social distancing.

Most countries or large part of countries have done their part.  Some better than others.  It is unfortunate it was not uniform.

5. We will learn much about superbugs, best practices to protect ourselves, hygiene and safety generally to the benefit of the reduction of disease spread in the future. Lessons this powerful will not be easily forgotten. Will any of us forget how to wash our hands properly after this experience?

I still believe this to be true. In the post-COVID-19 world, it will not seem odd even post-vaccination for people to be wearing masks on public transit during flu season as one example.

6. Although specific social ills can be attributed to social media, the power to share information generally on a global scale is unprecedented and provides a strong weapon against COVID-19.

Although it has been the source of much misinformation on balance, social media has likely done more good than bad in the fight against COVID-19.

7. Aside from the COVID-19 medical implications mentioned above, it has forced, in many facets of our world, a pause to rethink how to deliver vital services and to conduct business generally—everything from health services, public gatherings, sport, travel, in-person meetings and in-person office structures to list. Still, a few will be viewed through a different lens and hopefully to the benefit of people and the environment worldwide. 

What lasting changes ensue post-COVID 19 will receive much digital space over the next several years. I believe it is safe to say the world will never be the same, and some facets of our society will be permanently altered for good.

8. Thankfully after a regroup and especially if future mitigation periods are required, technology not previously available will allow us to continue to operate.

How true was this for many segments of our society.

9. In the world of immigration, many agencies are transitioning to modernization, and this is bearing excellent results during this time. With additional tweaks – more virtual interviews as one example – new ways of delivering services and preserving the integrity of our systems will adapt, advance and perhaps be better than ever before. 

This has not been easily achieved, but much has been accomplished, and although we would like to see it move faster, 2021 will be better than 2020.

10. Courts and tribunals will follow suit and make the necessary adjustments to get on with the critical work they must discharge every day – again virtual hearings may be required. Even during all this, work continues and will ramp up in the coming months.

Here too, this has not been easily achieved but much has been accomplished and although we would like to see it move faster, 2021 will be better than 2020.     

So, what I referenced many months ago as significant glimmers of optimism that I had hoped would soon translate into reality – well, here we are. Although the damage caused can never be undone with respect to the loss of human life, we are finding a way to emerge and forge a new path. The holidays will not be what many of us are used to, and we have a ways to go before COVID-19 is no longer in control, but at least COVID-19 will soon be retreating. Until then, to all our clients and followers, we wish you strength during this challenging time and encourage you to reach out to us with any immigration matters you are managing. To a 2021 that is much different than 2020.

Thank you for reading, stay safe and happy holidays.