This year has without a doubt been a rollercoaster ride. To many, 2020 may be the worst year of their lives; however, there are also many good things that happened this year as well. With this in mind, here are the top five pits and peaks of 2020:
The coronavirus brought sheer panic and mayhem to the United States. With over 13 million confirmed cases and upwards of 260,000 deaths across the country, COVID-19 is considered to be the worst pandemic in over 100 years. Self-quarantining, unemployment cases skyrocketing, the stock market crash and thousands of lives lost are all attributes of COVID-19 making it to the top of the “bad” list.
2. The Death of George Floyd
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by a police officer in broad daylight. The officer used excessive force to pin Floyd on the concrete ground then knelt on his neck for over eight minutes until he died from suffocation. Though brutal, this situation was not at all unique as police brutality against Black people is extremely common in the United States and globally. The death of George Floyd was a tragic reminder that Black people around the world continue to be not only affected but killed by institutionalized racism in the year 2020.
3. The Deaths of Iconic Celebrities
From Kobe Bryant to Alex Trebek, 2020 has brought death to some of the most beloved celebrities of all time. Sports fans lost Bryant to a helicopter crash. Jeopardy! fans lost Trebek to stage four pancreatic cancer. Marvel Cinematic Universe fans lost their Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman, to stage three colon cancer. Hard-rock fans lost Eddie Van Halen to cancer as well. These are just a few of the icons who died in 2020. Celebrity deaths impact everyone differently, but it seems that this year was a particularly hard one for many fandoms.
4. Murder Hornets
Just when everyone thought 2020 could not get any worse, a nest of Asian Giant Hornets (A.K.A. Murder Hornets) migrated to the United States. It is suspected that these insects arrived in the U.S by clinging onto goods imported from Asia through sea or air travel. With queens that grow up to two inches in length, Asian Giant Hornets have the ability to kill a human being should they be stung numerous times. However, this was not the leading cause of panic that the species caused. The main concern regarding murder hornets is actually their ability to kill species of bees (many of which are endangered) in masses. It was worrisome, especially in 2020, to have the most important contributors (honey bees) of crop pollination be wiped out.
5. Postponed Entertainment
It seems that almost everything was either canceled or postponed this year. From favorite music festivals to film releases, COVID-19 has taken away some of the world’s favorite pastimes. Festivals and concerts, such as Coachella and Harry Styles’ Love on Tour, were postponed until they can be conducted safely. Films, such as Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune reboot, have rescheduled their releases for later dates in 2021 and beyond. Television shows have also been affected by the pandemic. Programs like Netflix’s Glow and I Am Not Okay With This, amongst others, were canceled completely due to issues created by the coronavirus pandemic. Though upsetting, it’s important to realize that these were minor casualties in the grand scheme of COVID-19.
1. Joe Biden Won the U.S Presidential Election
On November 7, 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden was announced to be the U.S. president-elect. After an intense campaign and election, a victory in his home state of Pennsylvania ensured Biden’s win over the electoral college. Since then, Biden has secured 302 electoral college votes whereas his republican opponent, President Donald Trump, only secured 232 electoral votes. Biden also won the popular vote despite claims of voter fraud from the Trump administration. Joe Biden’s promise to handle the social, economic and health crisis’ in the U.S as well as to bring back political normalcy are amongst the reasons why Biden’s win has made it to the top of the “good” list.
2. The Momentum in the Fight Against Police Brutality
After Floyd’s death was covered in the news, many individuals and organized groups rose up to protest against police brutality. Black Lives Matter, a group that specifically advocates for peaceful protests against racially charged violence against Black people, was among the many groups who gained momentum inactivity and donations after the incident. For weeks, protests across all major cities demanded justice be served in the name of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black people that have died in the hands of government officials. These protests demonstrated Americans using their rights to free speech and assembly for a greater good– to stop racial injustice.
3. The Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers Won Their Championships
2020 was a historic year for Los Angeles in terms of sports. For the first time in 32 years, both the Lakers and the Dodgers won their league’s championship titles in the same year. The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA championship, making their team tied with the Boston Celtics for most titles won in the league’s history. This win was particularly blissful for Lakers fans, as this was the first championship after the passing of former Laker, Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Dodgers won their first World Series in 32 years. This was the sixth title for the Dodgers as a Los Angeles sports team and their seventh overall.
4. The Surge of Adopted and Fostered Pets
As a result of the pandemic, many rushed to adopt and foster pets. Some Americans did not want to be lonesome while quarantining, others found that they finally had the time to watch over a pet. Though the year of 2020 has not been ideal, it did bring many shelter animals to their forever homes and resulted in lots of wagging tails and purring.
5. Among Us
Though the video game was initially released in 2018, Among Us became hugely popularized in 2020. With private and online modes, Among Us provides its players with opportunities to connect with friends, family or complete strangers. The game is a great form of entertainment people can engage in while social distancing and reducing the spread of coronavirus from home. It is simple to navigate and fun for all ages.