2021: The year that was

To find meaning in a year of challenge and change, it is important to pause and reflect on the lessons we have learned and how we have cruised over the past one year.

It was a lurching, stammering year that began in hope, flirted with whiplash, and shuddered to a halt with still no respite from the pandemic. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020, the infection continued to rage in 2021 too.

A bizarre, uncertain, and in many ways, wishing to end the hellish year in a matter of time, but it did not. People were impatient to move forward, but unrealistic to understate the significance of this past year.

In 2021, miraculously effective vaccines showed up successful vaccination programs. Booster dose in the country is underway after first and second inoculations.

Tourism is the worst hit sector in Bhutan while the construction and export sectors were badly hit owing to labour shortages and lower external demand. There is also severe blow to businesses sectors as many are finding themselves unemployed.

An important initiative under the National Resilience Fund, the Druk Gyalpo Relief Kidu supports the citizens who have lost their livelihood owing to the adverse impact of the pandemic on businesses. This initiative from the golden throne continues to be the single largest scheme which has come to the aid of the most affected and downtrodden in the country.

Bhutanese people across generations have been blessed with monarchs who have placed paramount importance on the welfare of the people, with particular concern for the most vulnerable sections of our society.

His Majesty The King tirelessly travelled across the nation ensuring the people are safe and gracing Bhutanese with a priceless assurance of safety with peerless wisdom and compassion.

Under the noble leadership of His Majesty The King Bhutan’s state of the nation continues to remain strong while the people are indebted owes much to Wangchuk Dynasty for coming to the nation’s call once again.

In the report of state of nation by the Prime Minister, it truly means that the nation is in a worrying state when His Majesty expresses concerns during the Royal Address in 114th National Day celebration.

The government, executives, bureaucrats are reminded to uphold accountability and institute exceptional work ethics and correct the weaknesses and shortcomings infesting the working system.

Challenges were many over the past as the pandemic brought life-and-death health concerns to nearly every corner of the world. The government rightly acted swiftly with proper strategies and the country did not witness overarching pandemic disasters.

As an exceedingly difficult year winds down, hope that all people will reflect on the lessons of the past and Royal Address while preparing for what we hope will be a much brighter 2022. The road ahead is long — with economic woes likely to continue — but it is an opportune time for everyone to recommit to travelling it with compassion, grace and perseverance.

We have come a long way and the journey ahead beams of hope if we continue to be resilient and continue to think travel as a single family like we have always done before.