What. A. Year.

Sameer Batla ’22

Chaotic. Unstable. Tumultuous. Unprecedented.

All very fitting words to describe the year of our Lord 2020. From widespread disease, celebrity entanglements, global protests, and more, here’s a quick recap of the unforgettable events that this year has brought us. 

As obvious as it is, the current COVID-19 pandemic is the one agonizing theme that has played ominously throughout 2020 the most. SARS-CoV-2 is the type of coronavirus that is responsible for the COVID-19 disease, which originated in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. This month is its first-year anniversary.

COVID-19 is a disease that targets your respiratory system and causes numerous other harmful complications that pose a great risk to your health. It left the world in shock as we stood witness to the countless lives that it affected, completely taking over numerous countries in a scenario pulled directly out of a science fiction movie.

The empty streets of Wuhan, China during a lockdown

The pandemic also had a great impact on our daily life as we were forced to adapt to safety precautions such as social distancing, face masks, and the constant use of hand sanitizer. It meant that we couldn’t spend time with our friends and family the way we were used to, or play our favourite sports and do our favourite activities.

COVID-19 has also had an impact on the economy, causing large shifts in international shares and the stock market, widespread unemployment, and the closing of thousands of businesses. The pandemic even led to the postponement or cancellation of highly anticipated events such as the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

However, as news about potential virus-combatting vaccines spreads, it poses the question as to when things will go back to normal. Canada has plans to conduct a soft launch of “Track 1” COVID-19 vaccines to be tested throughout the coming weeks and months.

Currently, these vaccines have a projected efficacy rate of 94% and are expected to develop 3 months’ worth of immunity in the body. See Jackson Gordon’s article for more details (here).

COVID-19 led to increases in hospitalizations around the world

May 25 marked the beginning of worldwide protests after 46-year-old George Floyd was unjustly murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin. Despite Floyd’s exasperated pleas of “I can’t breathe,” Chauvin’s knee was pressed against Floyd’s neck for eight minutes while he died.

This heinous act of police brutality and racism brought global outcry as individuals across the planet joined together to protest against police brutality and push the Black Lives Matter movement. Floyd, along with many others, were and continue to be discussed as people demand justice and for police officers to take responsibility. 

There were too many global concerns that brought upon constant shock to the world this year to count.

Together we witnessed environmental issues such as dreadful wildfires that occurred in Australia and the West Coast.

We saw released footage from the Pentagon of what was deemed to be potential UFO sightings, as well as rumours about a potential third world war.

There were intense political affairs from our neighbouring country, the United States, such as the impeachment of President Donald Trump and Joe Biden being elected as the President of the United States (despite many Trump fans believing otherwise).

Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States in November

Protests continued in Hong Kong over the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill, and the United Kingdom officially left the European Union.

Further surprise arrived when we heard that Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, officially decided to step down from their royal duties and move to California.

Canada was not free from its own tragedies either; one of the RCAF Snowbird jets crashed in Kamloops in May while the military aerobatics team was completing a nationwide tour in aims to cheer citizens up during the height of the early pandemic. 

Despite its awful reputation, there has been some good to come out of 2020. This year showed the world how success can still be achieved even in the darkest of times.

February marked a great milestone in the cinematic world, as the film Parasite made headlines across the globe for winning the most awards at the 2020 Oscars. The movie secured four Academy Awards and became the first-ever non-English film to win the award for Best Picture in the history of the Oscars. It was also the first South Korean film to be nominated for International Feature Film and Foreign Language Film.

Furthermore, NASA and SpaceX had a historic launch on American soil after a decade and successfully sent four astronauts into orbit to set about a sixth-month scientific mission upon the International Space Station.

Additionally, this year former NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan became the first human ever to not only complete a spacewalk but also reach the deepest known part of the ocean.

2020 also marked a notable year in sports. The Los Angeles Lakers were named the 2020 NBA Champions after defeating the Miami Heat in game six of the NBA finals, a championship that added to the “GOAT” resume of LeBron James.

The city of Los Angeles also dominated the sport of baseball this year as the Los Angeles Dodgers became the 2020 World Series Champions, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. This was their first championship in 32 years.

A monumental moment occurred in November as we recently witnessed boxing legend Mike Tyson enter the ring again at the age of 54 to face off against 51-year-old Roy Jones Junior in an exhibition match that resulted in a draw.

Finally, to all of the inspirational figures that we lost this year: Kobe Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, Eddie Van Halen, Sean Connery, Pop Smoke, Alex Trebek, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Diego Maradona, and many more.

Chadwick Boseman died of cancer August 28, aged 43

We’d like to pay our respects to them and thank them for all that they had done to contribute to a better society and provide joy for all of us to share. 

2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year for all of us. It showed us how we cannot take life for granted and must be thankful for everything we have, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

We faced many gruelling situations that brought us together as one and made us stronger as a community and were forced to educate ourselves and stop being ignorant of issues that matter across the globe.

Finally, it showed us that we can and will persevere even through the darkest of times as long as we lift each other up and understand that all we have, at end of the day, is one another.

Photo credits:
Empty streets in Wuhan: Getty Images, nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00478-7
Coronavirus patient: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times
Joe Biden: AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File
Chadwick Boseman: https://www.elle.com/culture/celebrities/a33837574/chadwick-boseman-tributes/

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