A 2020 Recap, So Far

Melody Jiang, Artist

From a global pandemic to political uprisings across the globe, to the overall collective uncertainty this year has brought us, 2020 has been, to say the least, strange. In America especially, where most people have been hunkered down in quarantine since March, time has been very elusive, seeming to go by incredibly slow but also astonishingly fast. As tumultuous and momentous year starts drawing to an end, here is a brief rundown of some of the biggest events of the year.

2020 started off with a bang. Just days after people around the world shouted “Happy New Year!” WWIII scares began circulating on the internet after the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the major general of the Iranian Quds Force, was assassinated by a US drone strike. January was also the month of President Trump’s impeachment, the height of the deadly bushfires raging across Australia, and towards the end of the month, the death of the basketball legend, Kobe Bryant.

February, the last “normal” month of 2020, was an especially big month for Kansas City, with the Chiefs winning their first Super Bowl in 50 years. It was also a historic month for film, when Parasite became the first ever non English film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Harvey Weinstein was also found guilty of rape and criminal sex acts during this month, in a huge win for #MeToo movement and women around the world.

The most pivotal month of 2020 for America by far was March. Covid-19 began severely hitting countries in the western world, and on March 11, 2020, it was officially declared a pandemic by the WHO. States across America began locking down, and travel was banned from Europe, joining a previous ban from China.

April was one of the calmer months of the year. America was still in “phase 1” of the lockdown, and most people were still willingly staying home, baking banana bread and watching Tiger King. But for people on the front lines, it was a stressful month, with Covid cases around the world passing the 1 million mark, and President Trump’s announcement that the national stockpile was nearly depleted.

May, for the most part was like April, mostly calm and with no huge and controversial events, although JCPenney did file for bankruptcy and President Trump recommended taking hydroxychloroquine for fighting against Covid-19, which medical experts for the most part denounced. But towards the end of May, the death of Geroge Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked a summer of nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

National reckoning of racial injustice set the background for June- protests still continued across the country, and across the world, statues of prominent Confederate figures and European colonizers were torn down as a part of the Black Lives Matter movements. June was also a landmark month for DACA recipients, when the Supreme Court ruled that the DACA program could continue.

By July, protests were still raging across the country. President Trump, in an effort to subdue the “riots” in major cities, began sending federal agents, often in unmarked vans and gear. The use of federal agents was highly controversial, with some claiming that they were just keeping the protests in check, and others arguing that the dispatch of federal agents was a violation of protesters’ first amendment rights. July also saw the passing of Representative John Lewis, who was also a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement, and Patrick Mahomes made sports history by agreeing to the largest contract for an athlete of all time.

In August, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running mate, making her the first woman of color to be selected by a major party for one of the highest ranking offices in the United States. Another Trump administration scandal was also exposed during this month- Steve Bannon, one of President Trump’s former advisors, was arrested and charged with fraud concerning the funding over the southern border wall, one of President Trump’s most famous promises of his 2016 campaign.

September was a somber month, in terms of big news and events. The feminist icon and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, which quickly became a controversial topic when Republicans began immediately working to replace her, just a couple of months right before the US elections. The US coronavirus-related death count also reached a resounding 200,000 people, and sparked fears about the upcoming fall and flu seasons, and how it could lead to a huge increase in cases and deaths.

October was the month President Trump and many other White House administrators caught the virus, and months and months of denial and downplaying. During this month, Pope Francis also backed same sex civil unions, a huge acknowledgment and win for the LGBTQ+ community.

Overall, 2020 has been a crazy year, one that will most definitely go down in history. Most of these events took place amid an ongoing worldwide pandemic, natural disasters happening across the world, and just on an overall scale of worldwide tension not felt in many years. If anything “good” were to come out of 2020, it might just be a sign that the world is changing, and that while we’re ahead, we should start thinking about changes we need to make as a global community, so that we’re prepared for whatever comes next.