2020: Year in Review

Alyssa Gordon, Editor

At the end of 2019, it was impossible to know what 2020 would bring. This year definitely changed us all. Here is a look at what went on:

In the first month of the year, Australian wildfires continued to turn millions of homes to ash. The Iran-US conflict rose after the death of Iranian Major General Qassem Soliemani. Next was the outbreak of a flu-like disease in Wuhan, China, now known as the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The tragic death of a basketball icon in a helicopter crash took the world by surprise. Kobe Bryant was more than just a NBA star, he is to be remembered as a transcendent figure and a hero by definition.

February brought a 31-20 Chief’s victory in Super Bowl LIV. Following that, the US Senate voted 52-48 to impeach POTUS Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and 53-47 on charges of obstruction of Congress. There was the first Coronavirus-related death, and later the death count of COVID-19 passed that of SARS (2003). Jeff Bezos pledged $10 billion to help fight climate change. American rapper Pop Smoke (age 20) was killed in a home invasion.

In March, the United States had its first COVID-19 case in New York, a healthcare worker returning from Iran. Cases surged, with over 500 within the first week after the first diagnoses. The Italian government locked down the northern region of the country, and the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. President Trump banned travel to 28 European countries, declared a national emergency, and freed up $50 billion to fight COVID-19. After two decades with the New England Patriots, six-time bowl winner quarterback Tom Brady agreed to move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New York became the center of the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 21,000 cases and over 150 deaths.

April came around, and medical equipment ran scarce. President Trump announced that the US Strategic National Stockpile was almost depleted of necessary supplies to help battle the pandemic. COVID-19 cases surpassed 1,000,000 (Source Johns Hopkins).

Come May, the COVID-19 pandemic worsened. After 118 years of business, American department store JC Penney filed for bankruptcy. Barack Obama criticized the way the US government had handled the pandemic thus far. The killing of George Floyd, a middle-aged African American man, caused nationwide protests, widespread condemnation, and shed light to the topic of systematic racism.

In June, three former police officers were charged with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter Protests continued worldwide. The COVID-19 death toll passed 400,000. New York began to reopen after 100 days of lockdown. Statues of Confederate figures and explorers were removed, including a statue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond, Virginia which was torn down by protesters and thrown in a nearby lake. Soccer superstar Lionel Messi scored his 700th career goal.

July approached, and Europe opened its borders to 15 safe countries. Texas Governor Greg Abbott finally made wearing masks mandatory, after 5 months of the pandemic outbreak in the United States. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a 12 year contract with the Chiefs, the longest athlete contract in history. Internet personality and reality star Kim Kardashian West brought attention to mental illnesses by asking for compassion and empathy, as her husband Kanye West’s’ struggle with Bipolar Disorder continued. US coronavirus cases passed 4 million.

In August, the UN stated that the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic had caused the biggest educational disrupt in history, affecting 94% of the world’s student population (Source United Nations). US Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden announced his running mate for the 2020 election, Kamala Harris. The California Senator is the first woman of color selected by a major party. Following that, Joe Biden was formally nominated as the presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. Apple Inc. became the first US company to be valued at $2 trillion. The Republican Party formally re-nominated Donald Trump for a second presidential term. Global cases of COVID-19 passed 25 million. Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman, passed of colon cancer at the age of 42.

September brought record high temperatures in Los Angeles County, reporting at 121° Fahrenheit. Following that, the global death toll of the coronavirus pandemic passed 900,000. Astronomers found possible signs of life on Venus after detecting phosphine in its atmosphere. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at age 87 of pancreatic cancer. Ginsburg was much more than an associate Justice, she was a leading voice for gender equality, women’s rights,  and civil liberties.

In October, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. The world said goodbye to Dutch-American guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who passed away from throat cancer at age 65. Lebron James won his fourth MVP in the Los Angeles Lakers title win over the Miami Heat. Pope Francis backed same-sex civil unions, stating “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family.”

Come November, Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential race. This made Kamala Harris the first woman and woman of color elected into vice presidency. Canadian-American TV game host Alex Trebek died of cancer at the age of 80. The SpaceX Falcon 9 launched its first regular flight to the International Space Station. President-elect Joe Biden announced his cabinet, and the first all-female communications team for the White House. Argentine soccer forward Diego Maradona died of a heart attack at age 60.

In December, Spotify deemed “Binding Lights” by The Weeknd the most streamed song of 2020. America began its first COVID-19 vaccinations using the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech. Attorney General William Barr resigned after announcing that there is no evidence of major voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election.

As you can tell, 2020 was pretty crazy, and honestly quite the nightmare. Although this year was out of the ordinary, don’t let it discourage you from the possibilities of 2021!