10 Ways 2020 Will Positively Impact the Future
2020 has been quite a rollercoaster year with unprecedented situations, to say the least. This global pandemic has affected everybody and it’s clearly had a direct impact on the sports industry with the NBA & MLB both suspending their seasons, while the NFL operated its entire offseason virtually, canceled every preseason game, and had a season unlike any other. While PSO’s usual coverage is about the game, this article’s purpose is to take a look at how the negativity that arrived in 2020 could be the catalyst for positive change as we settle into this decade.
Despite all the turmoil this year, there’s plenty to be optimistic about, and some pretty significant things are happening that could make our world a better place in the LONG run. It’s these challenges and unique circumstances that will expedite technological advancements, suffocate systemic racism, and create a better future for society. Here are a few positives to keep in mind, some of which may have already been experienced first-hand:
Close relationships are the most important thing to have in life and this year provided rare opportunities to develop those in a variety of ways. We have been quarantining with close friends & family living under the same roof and have had more time to reconnect with old friends and re-establish past relationships that have always been one call or message away.
From race to politics to death, there have also been many important conversations to have this year which can subsequently strengthen those close relationships when the dialogue is ‘real’ and the other person’s perspective can be understood and respected. Some of the close relationships with roommates and family developed during this time will last a lifetime and those are the ones that matter most.
Because of their sacrifices and selflessness, health care workers are getting more of the respect and admiration they deserve. These people have saved more lives this year than ever before and are being recognized as the real-life heroes they are.
Due to fear of spreading a highly contagious disease, society’s personal hygiene has improved remarkably. People are sanitizing/washing their hands unlike ever before. Men and women are prioritizing health products, healthy food, as well as the right vitamins and supplements to boost their immune systems and maintain good health like Vitamin D which has proven to help treat and prevent COVID-19. Home workouts have reached a new pinnacle of popularity with people finding ways to improve their physical condition despite sanctions shutting down gyms and public training centers.
Beyond physical health, there’s less of a stigma around mental health, as society is starting to recognize that everyone has problems in their lives now and there’s no shame in getting professional help. Michael Phelps is one of the most recognizable athletes of all-time and in 2020, he released a mental health film that drew attention to clinical depression and influenced many to overcome their fear of telling others and receive the help they need.
While race issues and conflicts came to the forefront during this year, that’s exactly what was needed for much progress to be made in the overall fight for equality. Racists are now getting exposed like never before. People were well aware racism existed, but now it’s being showcased to the masses as the “Karens” and other forms of ignorance are finally not being swept under the rug anymore as a no-longer accepted part of society.
This increased focus on racial inequalities in 2020 has led to a greater awareness for helping minorities gain power and influence. All around the country, racially charged symbols are being addressed, whether it’s new team names, removing statues, changing flags, etc. Before, it was easy to not address an awkward subject, but now people have the awareness to speak out and fight for equality with plenty of foundations supporting the movement.
In sports, we’ve seen leagues and teams stand up for the fight against racial inequality with hundreds of millions to billions of dollars being donated to help the cause. Much progress has already been made in such a short period of time including the Washington Football Team announcing the hire of Jason Wright, the first-ever Black NFL team President in history.
The NFL made a rule change to incentivize hiring minority Head Coaches and Executives while the MLB now officially recognizes the Negro Leagues as equivalent to the Majors. Jackie Robinson will forever be known as the king of breaking color barriers, but there are still plenty to be broken and 2020 will be a big reason why they’ll come sooner than later
While jobs were naturally transforming into virtual positions entering this year, 2020 took things to a whole new level with remote work becoming widely accepted. While there are certainly things to miss about going to the office every day, working from home absolutely has its benefits and the convenience of it simply can’t be beat.
Beyond the recent reliance on zoom and a laptop to work from home, more technological advancements are being created around the world because of these unforeseen circumstances. From the rise of digital money to help pay for things, advancements in medicine, to many more emerging technologies, 2020 was a year that will hold plenty of influence toward technological developments for decades to come.
I’ll be considered part of the ‘millennial generation’ for the rest of my life, and people my age have embraced technology more and more as we’ve gotten older. Yet, 2020 will forever mark the year when older generations have significantly increased their adoption of technology and implemented new approaches that will progress the overall development of digital interactions and the use of tech in our everyday lives.
With people staying inside more than ever without the usual distractions that come with everyday life, innovative minds have been enabled to think outside the box and create some amazing things. For example, a boy in Iowa turned fallen trees from a devastating storm into wooden bats he created, and then sold his product to help provide for victims of the storm.
With public gatherings becoming nonexistent this year, many artists created virtual concerts or shifted to drive-ins to ensure social distancing. Without concerts, many musicians have spent more time in the studio this year, which means some great music is on the way. Considering Drake, Migos, Travis Scott, and more top artists are already planning to drop albums in the new year, 2021 and the following years could be full of better music thanks to the additional creative time in 2020.
Other creators had more time to focus on their craft and come up with things that will have a major positive impact in the years ahead with the creative juices flowing like never before. In the sports world, the NBA created a ‘bubble’ to overcome the hurdles that come with a global pandemic, the NFL developed numerous campaigns to promote equality, and the MLB established some iconic memories during Jackie Robinson Day and the days prior.
Even here at Pro Sports Outlook, this was a huge challenge considering our brand is built around being all about the GAME. With no games played for over four months, we had to shift course and create new ideas that would still bring value to sports fans. A daily Significant Sports History article, new PSO YouTube channel, an original show based on making future Pro Sports Takes, guide for how to get the most value out of PSO, and the idea for Premium Reviews for when the games came back might not have happened otherwise.
The entertainment industry is one that will be impacted by what happened in 2020 for years and potentially decades to come. From the meteoric rise of Netflix and streaming services to musicians starting virtual concerts, this year has had a monumental impact on the future outlook of entertainment. The altered demand around various forms of entertainment has inspired CEOs and leaders in this space to get creative in order to find solutions for bringing enhanced enjoyment to the consumer.
In sports, every league has introduced new creative ways to present the game that can attract a larger audience and make up for lost revenue. The MLB had players mic’d up during games to provide inside audio access, the NBA added virtual fans to the viewing experience via Zoom, and the NFL has implemented a new HD 8K camera that makes it feel as close to being on the field as possible. These are all efforts to overcome the financial losses from 2020 and produce a better consumer experience.
This is just the beginning considering robo-umps are coming soon, technological advancements in AR are developing into a part of the game, and the entire sports viewing dynamic could change forever with the rise of VR. With many stadiums and arenas under government restrictions to prevent live attendance, organizations have instead shifted their focus to improving the way remote fans view the game, and want to watch again.
The circumstances of 2020 have created many opportunities for people to focus on self-development. It could be taking online courses, learning about a topic of interest, starting an internship, focusing on physical fitness, or building a business on the side. People have used this time to improve in various areas that will put them in a better position to succeed and give them more opportunities in the future.
From a financial perspective, while this year featured one of the worst stock market crashes of all-time, it also rose back up extremely quickly, giving millions of people the opportunity to make money by buying undervalued stocks at the right time. Beyond the stock exchange, some suburban housing markets have taken off, increasing the value of this widely held asset. With real estate continuing to rise, 2020 established one of the best times to learn and take advantage of this opportunity.
With all the new demand around technologies and digital communication, tech companies will need much more help going forward, creating long-term opportunities for plenty of people. New jobs are becoming available in the health field, eCommerce, streaming entertainment industry, and much more. Not to mention, the added awareness around racial injustice has sparked many foundations and organizations to create more opportunities for minorities. There’s been a lot of focus on all the opportunities that have been eliminated during 2020, but there’s also an abundance that have emerged.
In the usual year, people are leaving their house everyday for work, to hang out with friends, to go to events, etc. As we all know though, 2020 has been anything but usual. People are staying inside more than ever to avoid spreading the virus. While it may not be most people’s first option, staying inside does create plenty of positives that are at the very least, a silver lining.
For one, reduced levels of pollution are being recorded due to less car travel and manufacturing. This along with many other factors results in a better ecological situation. Outside of the environment, which now gets to breathe a little with less emissions, the negative side effects that come with regular transportation like drunk driving and car accidents have declined immensely. A California traffic report from earlier this year showed there were 15,000 fewer collisions and 6,000 fewer crash-related injuries/deaths per month, which, in addition to saving lives, saved the state 40 million dollars per day.
With the year 2020 essentially in the books, we can begin to look at what’s next. From a long-term view, looking back at this year may bring up some bad memories, but it’s crazy to even say we lived through a year like this. These 12 months were truly unparalleled and will be part of history books that future generations can only imagine.
There are stories from this year that the youngest people alive right now will be asked about half a century from now. The questions of, “Mom, what was it like during the coronavirus pandemic?” or “Grandad, did you participate in the protests during 2020?” will lead to stories that will be shared for decades.
Remembering exactly where we were when we heard the news of the NBA season being suspended or March Madness getting canceled, or for non-sports fans to hear of travel being banned or their state shutting down. There are so many moments that will be immortalized forever and transformed into documentaries that we all have our own unique perspective of because we lived through these historic times. Plus, who you experienced these extraordinary times with could lead to some great stories that are shared for decades.
The biggest positive that comes from a year like 2020 is a new-found appreciation for life. Personally, this year made me appreciate my family and friends even more, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gained a new level of appreciation for the people in their lives who matter most.
Beyond just people, this year has taken away many things that we love from sports, concerts, as well as other events and activities that have now created a new mindset and reality to not take things for granted. The gratefulness we now have for previously common endeavors will enhance future experiences and inspire us to truly be thankful for things that are certainly not as guaranteed as they once seemed.
It’s always good to take a step back and look around once in a while and this situation has created a great opportunity to do so. May the adversity of 2020 make us stronger and more thankful for what’s ahead. Here’s to a better future, enjoyed all the more because of what we went through in 2020.
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