2020 in retrospect

Hey everyone it is Jacob Tashjian, and Happy New Year. That is right, after 365 days of egregious toil, we are finally in the year of 2021. Before we begin to confront the horrors of this year and begin saying it can not get worse than last year, let us take a look back at 2020 and see just how bad it really was by looking back at the largest events of the year.

The first notable event came two days into the year on January 2, 2020, when Australia officially announced it was on fire. Shortly afterward on January 16, the President of the United States was formally charged with impeachment by the House of Representatives. 5 days later, the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Seattle, Washington, on January 21. Another 5 days later on January 26, Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash. Another 5 days forward on January 31, Alex Azar led the first Covid-19 taskforce debriefing at the White House. This was just the first month of 2020, and as we all distinctly remember: it only got worse from there.

Photo Credit: CNN

February saw a plethora of major events, such as the massive nuclear scare between the US and Iran that could have potentially started World War III. The first Covid-19 death in the US was on February 6. Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on February 24, and Vice-President Mike Pence was placed in charge of the US’ response to Covid-19 on February 26.

Photo credit: The Associated Press

If there was any month labeled “Worst Month of 2020” March would take the title by a landslide. The biggest event of the year bar-none came on March 11, 2020, when the CDC announced the Covid-19 was now considered a global pandemic. On March 13, Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police officers in a no-warrant narcotics investigation of her boyfriend, creating protests from organizations like Black Lives Matter for racial injustice. On March 15, the CDC recommended to shut down events with 50 or more people in attendance, kicking off the national quarantine. California specifically entered a serious lockdown state on March 19, four days afterward. On March 25, the Senate approved a 2 trillion dollar stimulus package for Covid-19 relief nationwide, and on March 31, the DOW had its worst opening in history, down 23.2% for the quarter.

Photo credit: The Associated Press

April saw… surprisingly not that much. The Queen of England addressed her nation in a televised broadcast on April 5, and former president Barack Obama formally endorsed Joe Biden on April 14. April, in the storm that was 2020, was a nice lull in terms of national and global events. Perhaps it was the month that most reflected the lives of the average person at the time- pretty darn boring.

Photo Credit: USA Today

May, June and July then quickly reminded us that we can not have nice things. While there are many events to be noted within the summer of 2020, none had more of an impact than the death of George Floyd on May 25. The video of his death after having his neck kneeled on by a police officer sparked a nation-wide uproar and multiple large-scale protests for racial injustice that would impact the rest of the year.

Photo credit: The Associated Press

From August to the end of 2020, political events dominated the headlines of every television (much to our dismay). On August 11, Joe Biden named Kamala Harris his vice-presidential running mate on the Democratic candidate ticket for the 2020 election. On August 16 California saw one of the largest wildfires in local history with the North Complex Fire. On September 18, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed from complications with metastatic pancreatic cancer. On September 29, the first presidential debate was held and was said to be one of the worst presidential debates in American history. On October 22, the final presidential debate was held, and was said to be... slightly better.

Photo credit: The Washington Post

The entire month of November was defined by the presidential election when on November 4 Joe Biden was declared the President-Elect after cinching crucial swing states like Pennsylvania and Georgia from President Donald Trump.

Photo credit: CNN

The final month of December ended on a relatively high note with the CDC announcing that the first Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech had been authorized for emergency use on December 11, followed by the Moderna vaccine on December 18. To end the year, President Trump signed a 2.3 trillion Covid-19 relief and government funding bill to avoid a government shutdown.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Overall this year was nothing short of awful. There is no way to spin it other than it was a horrible time full of pain, sorrow, loneliness and fear. However we got past it, and grew as well. With a vaccine on the way, the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be past alongside the absolute worst of US politics. Last year sucked, but if there is one thing we can all be grateful for, it is that 2020 is done and we can move on and move forward to a better year.


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