The good, the bad, the deadly in 2020; Students weigh in


       2.03 million Covid-19 deaths world-wide. 10.3 million acres burned due to wildfires. A 7.79 percent decline in the stock market. 14.7 percent unemployment rate. 8.46 minutes George Floyd was pinned down. 2020 can be remembered as a year in numbers.

     For most, 2020 will be known for the pandemic. Since COVID-19 made its way into the United States, many individuals have stayed masked and socially distanced to fight the virus. However, more than 300,000 people died as a result of contracting it.

     In 2020, the United States faced a very devastating wildfire season. Deadly wildfires started in the middle of August, taking place from California to Washington state. Millions of acres were burned, once again causing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

     “The wildfires were horrible because a lot of people were losing homes and the animals were losing their habits with where they live,” shares freshman Cara Dyke. Because Covid-19 was happening during the same time as the wildfires, people weren’t making money, she states. Dyke explains that the “lockdown made it harder to pay for a new house and other things that the wildfires burned.” 

     On January 8, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family. They announced they were stepping down as the “senior” royals and according to BBC News, Prince Harry says that he and Meghan “will continue to lead a life of service.”

     A helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California on January 26, killing Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers player along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others. 

     “Kobe was a very iconic basketball player, and he’s so iconic to the point that people will yell his name out to toss a piece of paper in a trash can,” shares sophomore Aaron Huth. According to Huth, Kobe wasn’t known for just being a great basketball player, he was also known for having one of the best work ethics basketball fanatics had ever seen. 

     “And he was pretty successful outside of basketball too, he won an Oscar, and can speak fluent italian,” Huth explains. He thinks Kobe will be “remembered for so much,” especially because of how much of an “icon he was to not just basketball, but to the whole world.”

     In addition, the President underwent an impeachment trial in January. According to the New York Times, President Donald Trump faced charges of allegedly asking Ukraine to “investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.” He was acquitted by the Senate on February 5. 

     On March 9, the Dow Jones industrial average endured its worst “single-day point drop” ever. The United States went into a Global recession as numerous countries went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, explains Forbes. 

     Murder hornets also arrived in the US in 2020. This insect, known as the Asian giant hornet, was seen for the first time when they invaded Washington state. They can be up to “two inches in length and the hornets can wipe out entire bee colonies within hours,” says Science News. 

     Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court Justice and advocate for gender equality died September 18 at the age of 87. According to CNN, she was the second-ever woman appointed to the high court. 

    On November 7, Joe Biden was elected to become the 46th president of the United States. He was victorious over President Trump with help from his birth state of Pennsylvania, giving him enough votes to lead him to victory. 

     The Black Lives Matter protests were a momentous “necessary” movement of 2020. According to sophomore Andi Fetter, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and their police-involved deaths inspired a wave of peaceful (and sometimes violent) demonstrations and riots demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice. 

    “This is the reminder that black lives always have, always will, and do matter,” explains Fetter. “We are here to stay and fight until people know, and until people and the government starts acting like black lives do matter, they matter just as much as everyone else’s,” Fetter continues.  

     Right before the end of 2020, congress passed a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill. “President Trump demanded the payments be increased to $2,000, with support from Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Bernie Sanders,” states Business Insider. 

     Also in 2020, carbon emissions decreased by the biggest amount ever recorded. According to Carbon Brief, because of the reduction in travel due to the COVID-19, “emissions fell by a record seven percent in 2020.”

     Combined, the 14 nations that makeup 40 percent of the world’s coastline joined together to start the world’s largest ocean sustainability initiative. An area of ocean the size of Africa is now focusing on restoring fish populations and reefs while eliminating plastic. “The amount of fish in the Mediterranean and Black Sea has doubled in the last two years,” explains the United Nations. 

      According to National Geographic, China also started protecting the pangolin, or the world’s most trafficked mammal. The pangolin was close to extinction so “Interpol launched a massive international crackdown on multiple forms of protected species smuggling,” they explain. Fatal collisions with wild animals in the U.S. alone were down 58 percent this year.