A recap of 2020: COVID – and everything else this year

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Yi (Steven) Yang, Staff Writer

Everyone can agree that this year may just well be the worst year in recent history (although the year 536 still tops the charts for some as the worst of all time). Below is a recap of many of the horrible – and sometimes amazing – things that have happened this year. 

January – The start of the journey of 2020. 

In the beginning of January, many were full of hope. A new year brings new possibilities. Few have foreseen what “possibilities” are going to be available in a few months. 

  • Throughout January – Unprecedented Australian bushfires, burning 72,000 square miles and displacing thousands 
  • January 3 – The killing of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis
  • January 8 – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from the royal family 
  • January 16 – Trump impeachment reached the senate
  • January 26 – Kobe Bryant died from a helicopter crash
  • January 30 – WHO declared COVID an international concern
  • January 31 – The UK withdrew from the EU (brexit)

“January actually seems like a long time ago, but I remember it so well. It feels like yesterday at the same time,” writes Aron Thakur (‘22).

February – First signs of trouble.

During this month, people around the world began to realize the full implications of the COVID-19 virus. The effects can already be felt during this time. 

  • February – First cases of COVID-19 appear in different countries
  • February 5 – President Trump was acquitted by the Senate
  • February 9 – Parasite won the most awards in the Oscars
  • February 23 – Ahmaud Arbery was killed in a shooting
  • February 24 – Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual abuse
  • February 27 – The stock market crashed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1,100 points

“It seems like such a long time ago with lots of ups and downs that month. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster this month,” said Alex Chen (‘24). 

March – It’s actually real.

As countries around the world closed down, the economy seemed to do the same. During this time, the main focus for everyone around the world is to stay safe from the new invisible threat. 

  • March 8 – Italy put a fourth of its country into quarantine and later the entire country
  • March 9 – International stock market crash because of the oil price war and COVID, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average having its historical single-day drop
  • March 11 – WHO pronounced COVID a pandemic
  • March 13 – Breonna Taylor was killed by police officers
  • March 16 – Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by almost 3000 points 
  • March 17 – the EU closed europe 
  • March 20 – COVID death tolls reached 10,000 with 250,000 people infected
  • March 24 – India and China closes, while China says everything is under control
  • March 26 – COVID cases reached 500,000, with 23,000 people dead

“This month is when I actually realized the seriousness of the situation. I thought that it would not be as severe, but it became worse as time went on,” said Siddarth Chittapuram (‘23). 

April – Adaptations.

As more information about COVID-19 becomes available, people are more prepared to face the incoming pandemic. 

  • April 1 – China reports first asymptomatic cases 
  • April 2 – COVID cases reached 1 million globally
  • April 7 – Japan finalizes a $990 billion stimulus package
  • April 8 – The Wuhan lockdown ended
  • April 10 – Almost 100,000 people died from COVID
  • April 10 – EU finalize a 540 billion euro loan to help with the COVID fallout
  • April 14 – President Trump will stop funding towards WHO because of their handling of COVID-19 and China
  • April 19 – Killing spree in Nova Scotia, Canada, leaving 22 dead, the biggest massacre in modern Canadian history
  • April 20 – Oil prices are at an extremely low, with some even at negative values
  • April 25 – Joe Biden was announced as the winner of the Democratic primaries to face off against incumbent president Trump
  • April 29 – A 2 km width asteroid wanders near Earth

“This month seems both like a lifetime ago but also like just yesterday. Quarantine has demolished my sense of time. A day can feel like a moment but also an eternity at the same time. I sometimes feel like I’m living two days in one and sometimes I feel like days are skipped,” writes Joe Dai (‘23). 

May – The new normal.

By the end of the month, the case tally has risen by more than 3 million. Tensions around the world rose, and the focus shifted a bit away from COVID-19 to other problems. 

  • May 3 – The failed Macuto Bay incursion into Venezuela to remove Maduro occurred
  • May 4 – Scientists found a microbe that blocks the transmission of malaria
  • May 5 – Astronomers discovered a black hole that is visible through the naked eye
  • May 9 – Chinese and Indian soldiers face off in the Nathu La crossing, between China and India
  • May 10 – COVID cases pass 4 million
  • May 14 – The COVID death toll surpasses 300,000
  • May 16 – the Bundesliga, the German soccer league, resumed its season, the first major sports league to do so
  • May 21 – Cyclone Amphan killed 100 people and displaced more than 4 million, resulting in 13 billion dollars in damages in East India and Bangladesh
  • May 21 – 5 million total COVID cases, with 106,000 new cases, the single-day highest number
  • May 22 – Flight PK8303 from Pakistan crashed Karachi, killing 97 passengers and injured dozens
  • May 23 – China reports no new cases
  • May 24 – “Once in a decade storm” in Australia
  • May 25 – George Floyd was killed
  • May 26 – Protests all over the US and the world regarding the killing of George Floyd
  • May 26 – Costa Rica legalized same-sex marriage, the first central american country to do so
  • May 27 – The Chinese government voted and approved legislation to suppress Hong Kong protests and declared it non-autonomous
  • May 30 – The manned SpaceX Dragon 2 launched from Cape Canaveral
  • May 31 – 6 million COVID cases globally

“There are a lot of things that are actually significant that impact everyone. They are negative things that increase tensions around the world. It feels like a long time ago that these things happened,” Gavin Wang (‘23). 

June – The season of protests.

With the killing of George Floyd late last month, protesters began to protest within the United States and around the world. COVID continued to rage. 

  • Throughout June – Black Lives Matter protests continued
  • June 2 – 5 billion dollar class action lawsuit filed against Google regarding privacy in incognito
  • June 3 – British Prime Minister Borris Johnson offers pathway to citizenship for Hong Kong citizens if China passes new security laws there
  • June 3 – 20,000 tons of oil leaked into the Ambarnaya River in Russia
  • June 7 – 400,00 COVID death toll with the cases nearing 7 million
  • June 15 – Chinese and Indian tensions rise as a result of skirmishes in the Galwan valley
  • June 28 – 10 million COVID cases globally and 500,000 deaths with 2.5 million from the US
  • June 30 – the Hong Kong national security legislation was passed

“For me, June was kind of when people started to get used to COVID, since it has been around for many months. It was also the start of a new wave of movements such as BLM that many people participated in. Looking back now, it seems pretty long ago since I didn’t have the stress from school,” explained Mark Zhou (‘23).

July – The halfway point.

As humanity approaches July of 2020, there is new hope. Multiple vaccines are steadily being tested and in some countries, life begins to return to normal. 

  • Throughout July – Black Lives Matter protests continued
  • July 1 – A new amendment to the constitution in Russia states that Putin can remain in power until 2036
  • July 2 – Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested on sex trafficking charges 
  • July 15 – Twitter accounts of famous people were hacked to advertise a bitcoin scheme
  • July 19 –  Brahmaputra River flood kills 189 and displaces 4 million in India and Nepal
  • July 21 – €750 billion fund to rebuild European economy
  • July 24 – Regis Philbin, the legendary TV Host, died of heart attack
  • July 30 – NASA successfully launched the Mars 2020 rover

“I think that BLM really defined July. I did not hear of the other news that’s after it. It feels like a long time ago because for a couple of months BLM was everywhere and everyone was talking about it and now I haven’t particularly heard anyone talk about it. BLM was a big part of everyone’s lives in California and now it seems as if most have forgotten about it, which is why it seems like a while ago,” writes Sarah Zhang (‘23). 

August – Returning to normal. Except the United States.

As election season draws near, COVID cases continue to rise at an alarming level. 

  • Throughout August – Black Lives Matter protests continued
  • Throughout August – Californian wildfires
  • August 1 – The Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE activated
  • August 4 – Explosions in Beirut, Lebanon killed 220, injured thousands, displaced 300,000, and caused 15 billion dollars in damages
  • August 10 – There are more than 20 million confirmed COVID cases 
  • August 11 – Putin approved the world’s first COVID vaccine
  • August 11 – The Biden campaign announces Kamala Harris as running mate for the 2020 election
  • August 13 – Israel and UAE approves of normalized relations between them in a historic signing
  • August 22 – There are more than 800,000 confirmed COVID cases
  • August 23 – Bayern Munich of Germany defeated Paris St. Germain of France to win UEFA Champions league
  • August 23 – Jacob Blake was shot and seriously injured by police
  • August 25 – Africa is free of polio
  • August 26 – Jeff Bezos is the first person to have a net worth of more than 200 billion dollars
  • August 28 – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns due to poor health
  • August 28 – Chadwick Boseman died of colon cancer
  • August 30 – 25 million cases of COVID 

“August was definitely one of the craziest months among all of the crazy months. So much went down such as the wildfires and black lives matter protests. There is so much new stuff that is being added on. In reality, it was a long time ago, but to the whole world, it feels a lot more recent. With the internet, people are posting about it months after and people are replaying events in their heads,” said Matt Carter (‘22). 

September – Almost there.

As humanity approaches the end of the year, the COVID death tally approaches one million. 

  • September 4 – Bahrain and Israel normalize relations
  • September 16 – UN Human Rights Council accuses Venezuela and its leaders of crimes against humanity
  • September 16 – Yoshihide Suga becomes the Prime Minister of Japan
  • September 17 – European countries issued a document stating that China does not have claims in the important South China Sea
  • September 17 – Confirmed COVID cases reach 30 million
  • September 18 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a US Supreme Court justice, died of pancreatic cancer
  • September 21 – Microsoft buys ZeniMax Media for 7.5 billion dollars
  • September 29 – COVID death tolls reach one million

“RBG passing away in September sounds so off. It feels like it happened within the last few months. It was brought up in the news for weeks. It does not feel a long time ago, and it feels like it is still relevant. Amy Coney Barret’s presence played a huge role in prolonging RBG’s death,” explained Imogen Rogers (‘22). 

October – Waiting for the end.

World leaders, including the president of the United States, along with the president of Brazil and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom all have tested positive for COVID. 

  • October 1 – EU seeks legal punishments against the UK for violations of Brexit
  • October 2 – It was announced that president Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID
  • October 5 – 35 million confirmed COVID cases, while WHO estimates that 760 million people may have been infected
  • October 6 – Eddie Van Halen, a guitarist, died of cancer
  • October 17 – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wins in a landslide victory
  • October 19 – Confirmed cases of COVID passes 40 million worldwide
  • October 23 – Israel and Sudan normalize relations
  • October 26 – NASA finds water on the moon
  • October 29 – A shipwreck kills 140 migrants near Senegal 
  • October 31 – Typhoon Goni hits the Philippines, killing dozens, displacing hundreds of thousands
  • October 31 – Sean Connery, a James Bond actor, died

“October could be last year and it wouldn’t make a difference to me. I feel like I’ve been staying at home forever,” explained Dennis Chen (‘23).

November – Elections and Vaccines.

Many important elections are held during this time, with arguably the most important one being won by Joe Biden. Vaccines are almost perfected as well. 

  • November 3 – Democratic Candidate Joe Biden defeats incumbent US president Donald Trump in a disputed victory after being delayed by mail-in ballots 
  • November 4 – The US exits the Paris Climate Agreement
  • November 8 – Confirmed cases of COVID passes 50 million
  • November 8 – Alex Trebek, the Jeopardy host, died of pancreatic cancer
  • November 9 – Pfizer announces the first phase III COVID-19 vaccine with a 90% effective rate
  • November 11 – The Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective against COVID
  • November 12 – Many Hong Kong pro-democracy government officials resign to protest 4 lawmakers’ disqualification
  • November 15 – Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a new trade agreement, was signed
  • November 15 – NASA and SpaceX began its SpaceX Crew-1 flight to the ISS, marking the first flight of the Crew Dragon capsule
  • November 16 – Moderna’s mRNA vaccine is 94.5% effective. It does not require ultra-cold storage
  • November 17 – COVID cases surpassed 55 million 
  • November 25 – Diego Maradonna, an illustrious soccer player, died of a heart attack
  • November 27 – Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Absard, Iran
  • November 28 – David Prowse, the man who portrayed Darth Vader, died of COVID-19
  • November 30 – Protein folding, a huge problem in biotechnology, is solved by Deepmind Artificial intelligence AlphaFold

“Even though it’s been a month already it feels like November was just yesterday. Personally it was really chaotic as it was filled with deaths of many beloved individuals, however the news of a developed Coronavirus vaccine was exciting and promising,” said Saksham Nirvan (‘23). 

December – The last stretch

As humanity reaches the end of a unique year, the situation is still not solved by the end of the year although significant progress has been achieved. 

  • December 2 – The UK approved of the Pfizer vaccine, the first country to do so
  • December 4 – 65 million COVID cases globally with 1.5 million deaths
  • December 5 – Mass vaccinations begin in Russia
  • December 6 – Venezuelan elections occurred
  • December 10 – The US approves of the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use
  • December 12 – 70 million COVID cases globally with a resurgence in some countries
  • December 21 – Jupiter and Saturn will appear the closest in the sky since 1623
  • December 31 – The UK’s departure from the EU is followed by the ending of the transition period between the two entities

Beneath the Surface: Arts & Entertainment in 2020

Music: “Face It” by Kets From Free Music Archive
Licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Amador journalism hopes you have had a better year than expected. Everyone has been through a lot this year, and it is amazing to see the progress that has been made in these conditions. Through the highs and lows of 2020, everybody persisted, and it is a great achievement to do so.