11 months, over 70 mn cases, and 1 invisible virus has upended the world: Kumar Mangalam Birla

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on December 31, 2020

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Hindalco

Business tycoon shares thoughts on YouTube on the year of the pandemic

Business magnate Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman Aditya Birla Group, released a video voiceover on Wednesday, recalling the pandemic-ridden year 2020 and its consequential impact on daily lives.

He said in the video released on YouTube: “11 months, over 70 million cases and one invisible virus that has upended the world. We find ourselves still wrestling with the strains of a pandemic life. And yet, the age of social distancing has brought us together in more ways than we could have imagined. It’s been that kind of a year.”

“For those like us used to the daily bustle, the silence of the past several months has been a strange companion. There are moments of doubt that we have all had to confront. And yet, we have discovered that a smile can, sometimes, break through the guard of a mask. It’s been that kind of a year,” he added.

Highlighting what kind of a year 2020 was, Birla said: “The Oxford Dictionary decided not to choose a ‘word of the year’. It said no single word can sum up the events of 2020. Sometimes, even words can’t do justice to events. It’s been that kind of a year.”

“Even festivals feel peculiar as we find ourselves separated from our loved ones. And then, we turned to our computer screens to bridge distances and rekindle connections. It’s been that kind of a year,” he further said.

Commenting on the travel ban and flight restrictions, Birla said: “For weeks, flights were grounded, and the aviation industry suffered a debilitating blow. British Airways ended up hawking first-class dinnerware online to tap new revenue streams. And while air travel remains muted, in October an unusual flight took off from Hong Kong. It was a 75-minute flight to ‘nowhere’. They called it a ‘flycation’. It’s been that kind of a year.”

In the video, Birla also noted that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global sporting calendar, with even the Olympic games being postponed to 2021.

Adding further, he appreciated little moments of kindness that the world has witnessed this year. “We have all been touched by acts of kindness. Too many to count. And yet, too often to forget. From a neighbour, a friend, a colleague, a stranger. Yes, a stranger. It’s been that kind of a year,” he noted.

Pinning his faith in science, he said: “The collective will of humanity and the power of science can do wonders. It really can. A vaccine, that otherwise takes years, is now firmly on the horizon.”

“Covid-19 will be defeated. A new year is not that far. Afterall, 2020 marked the outbreak of a pandemic. 2021 should witness the outbreak of hope,” he concluded.

Published on December 31, 2020

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