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At this time of the year, I usually make a video showing my activities of the year.  I tend to forget what I did,, so I  reviewed my blog entry (I write every day).  I got tired of reading when I came to the end of March, so I decided to shy away from the video for now and write this blog.

The Covid-19  which characterized the year 2020  affected many of us almost beyond our imagination.  Now with vaccine in place, I sincerely hope that we see the light at the end of the tunnel. In addition to Covid-19,  many major events have taken place (still in process?) such as US Presidential election, UK/EU deal, uncertainties in the Mideast and rising power of China, as well as slow but steady growth of Asian countries.  I was quite concerned  about  the US presidential election and my blood pressure which I take every morning was unusually high during the last part of the election.  Once the result was known, it came down to the normal level. (Now I can tell my physical condition is affected by world event!)

As to my own activities, I lost my 98 year old Dad in September.  We were very close these years as I made sure that we meet on weekends.  (Photo is taken on his 98 year old birthday)  He did not suffer and I am very relieved as he is now at the better place with his loved one.

I made only one overseas trip (New York in January) and everything else (conferences, vacations etc.) was canceled throughout the year.  The only domestic trips out of Tokyo are one to Osaka in June and the other to Kyoto about a month ago.   Physically my scope of movement has been limited just in Tokyo.  From April or so, many online seminars and workshops began as we realized that Covid-19 would not go away soon. It was different experience from the real seminars and workshops, but I made many new findings and learned lessons.

I began three online events on my own.  SINCA series which we started in the fall of 2018 turned online after the last one in January. We hosted 15 SINCA sessions altogether.  I also  started GAS talk series with past participants of Global Agenda Seminar series which was discontinued last year.  We did 15 of this talk series this year.  In addition, I hosted over 30 Sunday online Idobata chat sessions with my friends–I called it Tokyo version of Ladies Night.

I started all these new online series with the spirit of “Do it and see!”, rather than try to “Perfect it”.  We have had some technical (mainly) issues in the process, but we all learn how to adapt.  I had many new discoveries and found the sessions very enjoyable.

Covid-19 has given us  many restrictions for all of us, but it has made us to be agile, resilient and creative.  I now realize that online sessions make us free of physical location and open the new world.  Now that the year is coming to the end, I hope we stay healthy and well.

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