The end of the year is usually the time when people recap the results of the year gone by, make predictions for the following year, and talk about the future joys that they anticipate, or the possible obstacles on the path toward them.
Quite a lot has been written about the year 2020, now reaching its end, which was a leap year, causing many to be wary. The American Time magazine even called this year one of the worst in history, publishing the numbers 2020 with an “X” slashed through them on its cover.
In respect to the United States itself, it is very difficult to disagree with this, since the American – and international – “experiment with Trumpism” that it imposed has cost everyone dearly. Due to Washington’s mediocre domestic policy alone in 2020, the number of people that died in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic has already exceeded the country’s military losses in WWII!
Yet again, not without some fault on the part of “America’s chosen one” who stood at the country’s helm, in 2020 not only were its inhabitants thoroughly thrashed physically, but its economy and finances were completely battered, and its population was left with monstrous debts and a crisis ready to tear the country asunder. In 2020 the United States, according to American media, printed a quarter of all the dollars that now exist – $ 9 trillion – and the US national debt increased at a rapid pace, by an average of $1 trillion each month, setting a new historical record, with data from the US Treasury stating that is exceeds $26 trillion.
Describing the plight of the US population in 2020, the German Der Spiegel wrote as if speaking about an impoverished country: “The United States has been gripped by an unprecedented hunger crisis: more than 50 million Americans have nothing to use to even buy food for themselves”.
But the outgoing year has been a depressing one not only for Trump and the United States. According to comments in the German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2020 turned out to be a painful year for the 94-year-old British queen with Brexit, Megxit, and the death of her beloved dorgi dog Vulcan, leaving only one dorgi named Candy. And Prince Andrew is still at the center of the investigation into the scandal revolving around the \, who was convicted of sex crimes. And the British media are also writing about the disastrous invasions of hungry rats into residential buildings due to the closure of pubs and restaurants: these then “mutate”, growing up to 30 cm in length and developing resistance to poisons. – Well, it is fitting that Britain has started to poison rats with its “Novice” – and not just behind the scenes at Porton Down, but overtly – and at the same time its “excess subjects”!
British Armed Forces are also “leaking” news that is unheard of in the history of the kingdom: its newest aircraft carrier, Prince of Wales, will not be able to leave Portsmouth until the spring of 2021 due to the fact its engine room was flooded. And the British aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, which cost 6.4 billion pounds sterling, will not be able to fulfill their missions anyway due to a lack of support vessels and F-35 fighters, The Daily Telegraph reported, citing a report from the parliament’s Committee of Public Accounts.
Although today London officially worries about the state of the country’s armed forces least of all: the most important thing is to give aid to Ukraine! And so, neglecting its own financial and resource problems in the British Army, London signed a memorandum with Kiev on bolstering cooperation between their armed forces and with defense technologies. The 112 Ukraine TV channel reports – citing the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense – that this means delivering cutting-edge samples of military equipment and the latest high-precision weapons, setting up production for certain types of military products, and building facilities that can be bases for the Ukrainian Navy.
The UK economy in 2020 is also going through its worst crisis in 300 years, and will not return to pre-crisis levels until the fourth quarter of 2022, stated Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to announce an £16.5 billion increase in military spending over the next four years, something unprecedented since Margaret Thatcher, and is taking this step despite the fact that the kingdom’s government budget is already strained to the limit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is true that, as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with Die Zeit, although 2020 was a year when humanity experienced many trials, there were also “happy events” in it, and in particular the election of US Democratic candidate Joe Biden as the new person in charge at the White House. The German politician is convinced that “now it will be possible to stop the further erosion of multilateralism, and the weakening of international organizations”. In addition, he believes that “NATO would not have withstood another four years of Trump”.
When speaking about the upcoming year 2021, many so-called “oracles” have already voiced their predictions. For example, the Danish investment bank Saxo Bank, which is well-known both in Europe and beyond its boundaries, published its forecast for 2021, calling it “Shocking Predictions”, and in an overtly gloomy fashion forecasted the picture for the near future regarding the areas of technology, social welfare, the activities performed by IT corporations, the world markets for certain goods, the situation in the European Union, the world of currencies, etc.
According to the WHO, the situation in 2021 will not be a rosy one, given that there are already over 63.5 million people infected with coronavirus in the world, with almost half a million deaths. The United States, India, and Brazil have been the most subjected to the COVID-19 virus, followed by Russia, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Argentina, and Colombia.
David Beasley, the Executive Director of the World Food Program, at a special meeting recently held for the UN General Assembly dedicated to combating COVID-19, also gave his forecast for 2021, and warned that it would be literally catastrophic. According to him, based on what we see at the current stage, in 2021 humanity can expect catastrophes: a pandemic, famine, armed conflicts, and an economic downturn. He believes that next year will be the worst humanitarian crisis over the past 75 years. Because of COVID, the number of people literally marching toward the brink of starvation has grown from 135 million to 270 million, he stated. We need to pay attention to the high-priority problems of destabilization, hunger, and migration, said the UN representative.
In December, The Economist magazine published its traditional cover depicting a rebus, and in which it encrypted its predictions for the upcoming year 2021. This time it was designed in the form of a “one-armed bandit” slot machine, where pictures representing events and various people are depicted on the machine’s four drums. Along with that, they are designed in the form of “emoticons” from social media networks that also do not portend good events for 2021.
People who interpret Nostradamus’s predictions for 2021 believe that serious natural disasters will occur, and do not bar the possibility of devastating tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and fires occurring.
The Bulgarian clairvoyant Vanga made similar predictions back in the day about 2021, stating that 2021 could be a turning point, with natural disasters, crises and various problems in some countries, coastal cities becoming covered in large waves, and seismic and volcanic activity increasing.
According to the Chinese calendar, each year is subordinate to one of 12 animals. The New Year represents a new animal that has its own personality, and means new events. According to this calendar, in New Year 2021 the Metal Ox will replace the White Metal Rat that symbolized 2020 – and which was prone to various reckless schemes and unexpected decisions: the white metal promises hard work and restraint, is the personification of strength, goodness, calmness, and prudence, and usually brings stability and a sense of confidence to life.
Therefore, I would like to wish all of us in the coming 2021 the strength and tolerance to jointly overcome potential difficulties, and may all the events that rocked the world in 2020 recede into the background, giving way to order, diplomacy, and the search for rational solutions.
Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.