In a year like no other in living memory for most, we asked some leaders in the startup and tech community to send 2020 a breakup letter. It’s time to move on. To kick of the series, MedAdvisor chairman and investor Chris Ridd shares his thoughts on a year where Sunday footy matches were replaced with podcasts by Dr Norman Swan.
Sorry babe, it’s over. I’d like to be able to say it’s me and not you, but it’s definitely you.
Reflecting back over my time with 2020, the relationship got off to a fiery start, quite literally, with massive bushfires causing devastation across Victoria’s East and much of the NSW South Coast. Even a forced handshake from PM Morrison couldn’t make things right.
And just as we thought things might start getting back on track, an out of control COVID-19 pandemic from China came between us. The romantic holiday we had planned to Europe had to be scrapped and my neatly arranged sock drawer made way for a collection of fashionable face masks. Strange times indeed.
Moving into March we went into hard lockdown in Melbourne and were greeted with the largest single day drop in the sharemarket ever. Scrambling to shore up my tech portfolio and preserve cash across a number of my businesses, I had to update my vernacular with new terms like jobkeeper, jobseeker, lockdown and “you’re on mute”.
Despite all the hardship we soldiered on and found some serenity through binge-watching Tiger King and Ozarks on Netflix.
AFL Footy on a Sunday was replaced with CoronaVirus Podcasts with Dr Norman Swan and I became transfixed every morning with a daily dose of Dan Andrews gleefully outlining how my State-controlled life would play out over the weeks ahead.
It’s hard to build a relationship when all the bars and restaurants are shut, and in Melbourne we couldn’t even catch up after 8pm due to a strict curfew.
Border closures meant weekend getaways to the Gold Coast were out of the question. The “ring of steel” around Melbourne saw the beach house gather dust and even date nights were replaced with a stilted rendezvous on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
I admit that we were able to go for romantic walks in the park, that is provided you strayed no more than 5km from your home or risk being tasered.
And my virtual birthday celebration saw the inclusion of some newly acquired friends… like the driver of the Dan Murphy’s van (got to know him well) and the guy in the adjacent park whose drone accidentally crashed into our bedroom window.
Recounting my final months with 2020, and with a modified AFL season, we watched on as Brisbane hosted its first and only Grand Final and Mike Brady belted out “Up there Cazaly” amongst a sea of empty MCG seats and swarms of hungry, bewildered seagulls.
With my local cafe owner no longer looking at me suspiciously over a moist, reused face mask and America reconnecting with terms like “democracy”, “leadership” and “respect” I look to the future and can’t wait to meet 2021.
Perhaps she will join me on a trip to China where we can get to know one another over a very expensive bottle of shiraz from the Barossa.