Stick a fork in 2020 – we’re done
By: Channing Icenogle
Picture it: New Year’s Eve of 2019. As the countdown begins, there’s a sense of relief that this crazy year can be put behind us, and begin the new decade. I mean if it’s anything like the Roaring 20s, your year should be full of celebration, glamour, and good fortune. However, that idea was quickly eradicated as the misfortunes seemed to pile up as fast as the ball dropped. Rather than being the glamorous Twenties that people were hoping for, it seems to be more like we skipped right to the Great Depression of the 1930s. So, for all the crazy, discouraging, hectic, and confusing events that made 2020 the year it is, I would like to ask “How?” How is it possible for so much to have happened in one year? How did 2020 give me more emotional whiplash than I have ever experienced in my entire life? Did someone awaken an ancient curse to cause all of this? Many of these questions we will never know the answers to, but thank you 2020, for being the year that is the one to remember!
The year started off seemingly normal. Besides the potential threat of World War III only two days into the new year, everything is going great. That and the third state of emergency called over the Australian bush fires shouldn’t be that concerning, right? Before the tension can even dissipate, tragic news reveals that a Ukrainian flight has crashed, killing all 176 people on board. This tragic accident seems to be the end of the deplorable string of events. Until a week later, when the Impeachment trial of President Trump brought all that worry to the surface again. With everyone on the edge of their seats, focusing on the trial, the United States was completely oblivious that the first Coronavirus case was reported in Washington. Of course this was the fault of the government, who had virtually ignored the virus. Unfortunately, the cycle of bad news continued, as famous basketball player Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash on January 26, leaving many devastated over their untimely deaths. January finally ended with the announcement of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on January 31. Yes, that was all just in January of this year.
When February finally came around, things started to slow down a little. Finally some ‘normal’ news comes on February 2 as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in the SuperBowl. But people held their breath once again as they waited for the results of the Impeachment trial, as President Trump was acquitted by the senate on the 5th. Some ground breaking news also occurred, as the film Parasite became the first foreign film to win the Academy Award of Best Picture. Things seem to be turning around when justice is served to the women of the #MeToo movement when Harvey Weinstein was found guilty in court and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Things were pretty good, until March rolled around. As it turns out, the Coronavirus turned out to be a major issue for the United States. On March 10, Italy was the first country to enforce a national lockdown, and a day later the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic. Then sadly, Breonna Taylor was unjustly shot dead by police in her own home on March 13, which later would call attention to during the Black Lives Matter protests. To end the month, it was announced that the Olympics are postponed until 2021 due to the Coronavirus.
By the second of April, the world wide number of Covid-19 cases already surpassed 1 million, and by April 9, New York City had more cases than any other country in the world. Yes, one city had more cases than any other entire country. As countries around the world were stuck trying to deal with the Coronavirus, Canada was devastated as 22 people were killed on April 18 by a gunman posing as a police officer in Nova Scotia, the worst mass shooting in their history. Things only continue to worsen as Coronavirus cases grow along with the death tolls. Many people lost their jobs due to the virus, as shown by the record high unemployment rate in the United States at 14.7%. During April and May, the effects of the Coronavirus were the largest. Many kids were in online school which proved very difficult for parents, especially those who couldn’t afford to stay home and watch their young ones. It’s hard enough trying to stay focused at work, but combine that with trying to watch rambunctious kids and it seems impossible to get work done. The focus suddenly shifted on May 25, when George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis causing nationwide protests against systematic racial oppression and police brutality. Only in 2020 is it possible to see people protesting to not be killed by their own justice system, when just weeks before others were trying to fight wearing a mask that protects others simply because it ‘infringed on their rights’. Moreover, the police responded to these protests with even more violence.. On June 4 an example of this occurred when two Buffalo, N.Y. police officers were suspended (and later charged with assault) after pushing 75-year-old Micheal Gugino onto the pavement, causing a head injury. As protests continue well into the summer, police continue to respond with use of pepper spray, rubber bullets, tear gas and batons on protesters.
There were a few pieces of good news in June as NASCAR announced the ban of the confederate flag. Also, the protests began to see results. Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck, resulting in his death, was charged with second-degree and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter. The other three officers involved were charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter and second-degree murder. Also, as June is Pride Month, there was a big win for the LGBTQIA+ community as the Supreme Court rules that employers cannot discriminate based on gender or sexual orientation.
As a piece of news that was unexpected in a strange way, on the app TikTok teens attempted to create an empty rally for Trump by reserving all the free tickets as a way to derail his campaign efforts. While it was expected that the entire stadium and overflow outside was needed to fit all the people, only around 6,200 people showed up for the Tulsa rally on June 20.
Towards the end of the summer wildfires became prevalent all across the Western half of the United States. What about the Eastern half? Don’t worry, they too get to experience the joys of natural disasters with hurricanes and tropical storms as the hurricane season is just beginning.
With everything from threats of World War III, to murder hornets, to the Black Lives Matter protests, and even a pandemic, 2020 has been one of the craziest years yet. Sure we didn’t have the threat of crazy clowns chasing people like 2016. But with everything that has happened, 2020 probably deserves the title for Most Eventful Year of the century. And it’s not even over yet! So what do we do for the rest of the year? Well buckle up, sit tight, and hold on until 2021. Because if the end of the year is anything like the first half, we are definitely in for a wild ride.
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