We were confined to our homes for the better part of the year and may have lost loved ones, because of the pandemic, but some good things still happened in 2020.
To say that 2020 has been a downer would be a gross understatement. Across the world, people tackled the same invisible enemy. We were confined to our homes for the better part of the year, and yet some good things happened. There is a silver lining everywhere if only we look for it. We can feel gratitude for the way the world changed, we can stand in solidarity with those who passed away because of the virus, and we can brace ourselves for what is to come.
Meanwhile, these 10 events that happened in the US in 2020 could help put things in perspective.
Coronavirus brought the world to a standstill but scientists responded to it with utmost urgency and were able to create a vaccine for it. All that remains now is to roll out the vaccine in every country that was affected by the virus. In the UK, vaccine rollout has already begun, and soon, Canada and the US too will start their inoculation process.
For the first time in the history of the US, a mixed-race woman became vice president-elect. Even if she is not well-liked by everyone, choosing Kamala Harris as the future vice president is a momentous occasion for women's empowerment. No politician is without their faults but now, all we can do is support the woman who is going to be one of the most important leaders in the US in the future.
Two-thirds of the voting-eligible population showed up to cast their ballots in the 2020 election. This is the highest turnout in 120 years, as per Washington Post. A new record was set as the number in 2020 was higher than the 2008 election when Barack Obama defeated John McCain or the 1960 election when John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon.
In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that employees cannot be fired for being gay or transgender, which was a momentous ruling in favor of LGBTQ+ rights. "An individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions," Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative appointed by Donald Trump wrote in the decision. "That’s because it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex," the ruling read, as reported by CNBC.
Many people felt isolated during the lockdown, while many others reconnected with friends and loved ones using technology. Virtual classrooms, seminars, and even weddings became the highlights of 2020. Zoom calls and FaceTime video chats have become the new normal, and while people won't forego in-person celebrations, they are likely to remain a part of our lives in the near future.
Multiple Black Lives Matter protests erupted around the country after the death of George Floyd, who was killed due to police brutality. From politicians to celebrities, people took a stand against racism. It also led to some real changes like NASA naming its headquarters building in D.C. after Mary W. Jackson, the agency’s first African American female engineer, according to Washington Post.
Climate change is one of the major concerns plaguing our modern world, and because of the pandemic, carbon dioxide emissions went down. While the recession had a lot to do with the emissions declining, but it could also be because the cost of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, is diminishing.
Let's not forget the miracle of life, no matter what species it is from. In August 2020, a male baby panda was born at the National Zoo. "Giant pandas are an international symbol of endangered wildlife and hope, and with the birth of this precious cub we are thrilled to offer the world a much-needed moment of pure joy,” said Steve Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on their website. "Because Mei Xiang is of advanced maternal age, we knew the chances of her having a cub were slim. However, we wanted to give her one more opportunity to contribute to her species’ survival. I am incredibly proud of our animal care and science teams, whose expertise in giant panda behavior was critical to this conservation success."
Drive-in movie theaters, which were once part of popular culture, have made a comeback since it was easier to maintain social distance there. Meanwhile, movie theater chains failed to draw in crowds and struggled throughout the country. Drive-in theaters helped dispel some of the feelings of loneliness and isolation that people might be feeling.
US-made spaceships by SpaceX were launched in 2020. The nation was able to send astronauts to the International Space Station, partially ending its reliance on Russian technology. The rocket also made its way back safely, as per Washington Post.