2020 has been not only unprecedented, but a little apocalyptic, and now it is finally almost 2021. Hopefully, this year redeem what has been called the worst year yet. 2020 had high expectations to live up to with every holiday being on the weekend, and, of course, just the appeal of a round number.
However, this year started out with the Australian bush fires which burned a record 47 million acres. The fires displaced thousands of people and at least three billion animals were killed or displaced. One would think the year could only go uphill from there, but as we all know it didn’t. On January 8th, Megan and Harry announced they were leaving the royal family, leaving many upset that they would no longer get to keep tabs on the royal family’s newest couple. Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles. Kobe was an inspiration to many, lead efforts for women’s basketball, and helped many charities.
After three years, President Trump was impeached, but was eventually acquitted. Following the same trend, Harvey Weinstein, who had dozens of women accusing him of sexual assault, found himself in court and was ultimately convicted.
The real low point of 2020 finally emerged when a deadly pandemic arrived from China. The virus spread worldwide leaving many dead and others without jobs in its wake. On March 13th, 2020, schools across the country announced an extended spring break, and students were excited for the few extra days off. Then, a few days turned into a few weeks, and a few weeks turned into a few months. The economy shut down and millions lost their jobs. For months the only stores open were grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and other essential businesses, and cities turned into ghost towns.
Class was now taught in the comfort of our homes, but it was never exactly comfortable when every single family member was also using the wifi and was attending virtual school or doing work too.
On top of that, many people hadn’t left their house for months. Obviously, there is nothing more fun for teenagers to be stuck in their house with their parents for months doing absolutely nothing. Students worldwide have struggled since school was moved online due to the shortened classes, the feeling that days just repeat, and the constant distractions available at our fingertips.
On May 25th, 2020 in the midst of COVID, a black man named George Floyd was killed by a white police officer, after the officer kneeled on his neck for a full 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Since the world was glued to the television and their phones, news of George Floyd’s death spread particularly rapidly and so did the video of his dying as the officer kneeled on his neck as Floyd cried in pain for his mother. Anger rose against police across the world as protests in Minneapolis erupted, drawing federal attention and intervention. Outraged over police brutality, a substantial number of people took to the streets. Most protests were peaceful and they represented the message of the Black Lives Matter movement. Others, catalyzed by built up anger on both sides, became violent, in some cases directly due to police response. In many cities, fires were set and stores were boarded up.
In April, rumors spread across the world that North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un had died, but, dashing many people’s hopes, he turned out to be very much alive and still doing whatever dictators do.
In other news, Twitter was hacked by four teens, deadly hornets came to the US, Ghislane Maxwell was found and arrested. In Beirut, an accidental explosion killed 190 people and injured thousands. Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) died at 43 after a long fight with cancer.
California had some of the deadliest wildfires ever in America, and acres upon acres were burned. As if the year couldn’t get worse, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who fought for gender equality everyday of her life, died at 87. A few weeks later, America’s very own president tested positive for COVID, and was hospitalized. Then the two candidates, Trump and Biden, ran against each other in the presidential race, and both faced accusations of sexual assault.
In the end, Biden won and Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first woman and person of color Vice President. We must remember that one of the best moments of 2020 was when the iconic fly of the presidential debates landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head. If that wasn’t funny enough to watch live, the SNL skits that followed it were quite entertaining.
School is now half in school, half online, and Covid cases are rising once again; life hasn’t been the same since the fateful day of March 13. While this year has been quite hard on everyone, many grew an appreciation for stepping back from the business of life and reconnected with family and friends. The environment improved temporarily as the world was shut down for so long. Additionally, the highest number of people ever voted in the 2020 Presidential Election.
If anything, 2020 has taught us to be grateful and make the best of every situation. Let’s just hope 2021 is better; Can it really get much worse?