By Kate McCormick
To say the least, 2020 was an eventful year. To say the most, 2020 felt like a century-long sentence into a Hunger Games-like arena, circa “Catching Fire,” where just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, they most definitely could and did. What better way to kiss the last year goodbye than to take a trip back down nightmare lane and reflect on the lessons, losses and every painstaking moment in between?
The year 2020 started on fire — literally. With global concern for the devastating Australian bushfires, there soon compiled a resume that includes, but is not limited to, a brief concern for WWIII after Donald Trump issued an airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the first impeachment of President Donald Trump, rumors that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un died and even a short-lived frenzy over Asian giant hornets being found in the United States. Even the lovingly dubbed “Murder Hornets” decided that 2020 was just too much for them to partake in.
Additionally, last year brought with it the deaths of many beloved public figures, such as Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Trebek.
Following the deaths of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police eight times in her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment and George Floyd, who died under the knee of a Minneapolis Police officer after 8 minutes and 46 seconds, 2020 was a monumental year for Black Lives Matter protests taking place both within the United States and around the world. During this time, activists called yet again for the dismantling of America’s centuries-old systems of oppression. The Black Lives Matter movement is not new or exclusive to this past year, but the needed call to action remained prevalent throughout 2020.
After days of counting mail-in ballots in the historical 2020 Presidential election, Democrat Joe Biden was chosen by the American people to serve as the 46th president of the United States. This win also includes Kamala Harris, who will serve as not only the first female vice president but the first Black and South Asian vice president as well. Besides the Presidential ticket, this past year’s election brought forth humungous wins for the LGBTQ+ community with a historic success rate of LGBTQ+ candidates, including the nation’s first openly transgender state senator, Delaware’s Sarah McBride.
Finally, the year 2020 was responsible for bringing with it the brunt of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, which completely changed life as we knew it. This pandemic is responsible for 106 million infections worldwide, as well as 2.31 million deaths, according to statistics provided by The New York Times. Of these numbers, and due in part to the Trump administration’s mismanagement of the pandemic, America makes up 27 million cases and over 462,000 deaths, with those numbers still rising.
The year 2020 was simultaneously devastating, enlightening, historic, painfully long and comedically terrible, but hey, at least all of the billionaires got richer.
While the new year is well underway and already off to a busy start — dare I mention insurrectionists at the Capitol, Trump’s second impeachment and Reddit users banding together to teach hedge funds a lesson — one can only hope that with a new political administration in power, a COVID-19 vaccine in circulation, the dismantling of Donald Trump’s Twitter account and all of the lessons learned in the past year, 2021 will pale in comparison to its predecessor when it comes to exasperating breaking news headlines.