Comment: Five reasons to be optimistic about 2021

Vaccines, the decline of populism and improved environmental policies are just some of the causes for hope as we head towards the new year

Vaccines were developed due to internationalism, not parochialism, showing the path out of this and other crises. Picture: Getty

A lot of chickens came home to roost this year. The Covid-19 pandemic was not some random thunderbolt from out of the blue, but rather a man-made “natural” disaster, holding up a mirror to so many of our bad habits and dangerous – indeed, lethal – practices.

After all, the coronavirus’s transmission from bats to humans was a product of mass urbanisation and destructive encroachment on natural habitats, and its rapid spread was a result ...