On the surface, 2020 proved to be the most difficult and surreal year most of us have ever faced, in our lifetime. From a global pandemic, racial and social injustices, wildfires, deaths of idols; still a silver lining exists. With mass movements and huge historical changes taking place, most of us will remember the small acts of kindness and the glimmer of hope in such a dreadful year. This surely wasn’t the year we expected, but there are moments that shouldn’t be overlooked, as we remember how we got through this year, together.
1: Covid-19 vaccine arrived in record time
As millions prayed for a quick vaccine release, many were surprised with how the COVID-19 vaccine was created, then approved in such a record time. In such a technologically advanced age, scientists and labs were able to successfully develop vaccines so fast because of enormous funding from all over the globe, which allowed a multitude of trials to go on at once. This is a huge leap for science and healthcare, and for those worried, the vaccine isn’t unsafe by the release speed; it was approved so quickly because of mass clinical trials, thanks to fundraising.
2: America got their votes in: highest turnout in 120 years
For the anticipated Biden and Trump election back in November, two-thirds of eligible voters voted, more than they ever have in the past 120 years. It could have been because back then, The United States had a small group of eligible voters; women, neither Asian Americans nor Native Americans were allowed to vote. This year however, everyone, from every generation got involved with their vote, because their Nation was on the line.
3: The world joined together to fight tragic Australian wildfires
In late 2019 moving into 2020 was a period of fierce and intense bushfires within Australia. People all over the world instantly focused on helping the Australian people rebuild their country by fundraising millions for wildfire relief so animals and civilians alike could heal from the disaster.
4: Africa was declared free of polio
Amidst a global pandemic, Africa declared free from another deadly disease; Poliovirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this on the 25th of August, leaving just two countries in the world left where the virus is still surfacing; Afghanistan and Pakistan.
5: Drive-in theatres made a comeback
To quote the famous phrase ‘everything old is new again’, drive-in theaters were all the rage in the 1950’s, and then again in 2020. With many movie cinemas and other activities being prohibited due to safety restrictions, drive-ins were the safe and fun alternative!
6: Kamala Harris breaks American political history for good
Kamala Harris will soon be the first ever female Asian-American and African-American vice president in U.S. history. "Her win is historic but it is not hers alone. It is shared with countless black women who made this day possible."
7: George Floyd’s legacy: surge of social injustice movements and conversations
On May 25th 2020, George Floyd, an African American man died at the hands of police custody in Minnesota. Shortly thereafter, his death sparked protests, movements, fundraisers and initiatives regarding racial and social injustice. The demands of these activists were for police reform, and justice for those who had been killed or impacted by police brutality.
8: Parasite won Best Picture at the Oscars
‘Parasite’ directed by Bong Joon Ho made history at the 92nd Academy Awards by being the first foreign-language film to ever win best picture; hopefully the first of many!
9: Scotland makes worldwide history by providing period products for free!
The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act allows feminine hygiene products available for free for everyone who needs them, which was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament.
10: Our priorities and life goals were re-established.
This pandemic has surely changed the course of our future; it has taught us that there is so much more to find and know about ourselves other than our jobs, or income. For a lot of us, we re-established what we want to do in life, and what makes us happy. We returned to old hobbies and simple pleasures in lockdown, and reconnected with those we lost touch with virtually. Whether or not you had any great realizations, epiphanies or lessons in 2020, or if you just stayed home and watched Netflix, one thing is for sure: 2020 is going to be the year we all remember and without a doubt, the final answer on a history exam in 2080.
Author: Samara O’Gorman
Samara O’Gorman is a Montreal based actress, writer, journalist and mental health advocate. Samara has a demonstrated history in journalism and creative writing, yet her true passion lies within acting on stage & in film. With a Professional Theatre degree, she is skilled in acting, singing, dancing, broadcasting, and public speaking. She is heavily involved with her Ireland ancestry, currently studying Irish Studies at Concordia University and being awarded the 2019 Queen of the Hudson Saint-Patrick's Day Parade. She is hoping to travel to a rural community in Ireland after a year of studying the Irish language. Once there, she will be studying Irish spoken-word, theatre, literature; and then exploring how their dialect shapes those forms of art in the area. Samara is also the founder of Your Local Samaritan which teaches others the importance of being kind and also highlights those who are charitable and give back to their community. At Youth in Politics, her articles focus on arts & culture.
*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.