The year 2020 was supposed to be a good year (well, we wish that each year), it was the start of a new decade and our hopes were high. As 2020 progressed our hopes shattered, we have had a tough year, and it doesn’t seem to end. With pandemic, disasters, deaths, war etc, 2020 seems like a sci-fi movie, though even more catastrophic.
Do you know which year is going on in the Ethiopian calendar? FYI, we follow the Gregorian calendar.
Why, you ask?
Well, it’s 2012, the year earth was supposed to end, the dooms-year, if you must.
Let’s look at some events of 2020 starting with the event of most importance.
The corona virus broke out in Wuhan China’s wet market in December last year and spread throughout the globe ever since. At the time of writing, there are more than 5.2 million cases and more than 337 thousand deaths worldwide. According to some estimates, it will cost the global economy between $5.8tn and $8.8tn. There are some conspiracy theories that it was intentionally released by China.
I am sure everyone has heard a lot about it, it’s the only thing we hear and read about nowadays, and sometimes we wish we could get a break from it, so I will not write much about it.
The bush fires which are common in Australia had peaked in January 2020 and have been unprecedented for Australia in terms of duration and intensity, burned an estimated 18.6 million hectares, destroyed over 5,900 buildings, and killed at least 34 people. Over a billion mammals, birds and reptiles may have lost life due to it. However, smoke pollution that blanketed the country’s southeast during the bushfire may have killed more than 400 people.
The smoke even reached New Zealand which is over 1000 miles away, can you believe… People actually saw smoke on glaciers in New Zealand.
Death of Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant, 41 and his daughter, 13 along with seven others on board were killed in a helicopter crash.
Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.-KObe Bryant
We lost our star player who played for LA Lakers, five-time NBA champion, and one of the greatest players of all time.
World War 3 ?
World war seems like a gigantic deal, the media was flooded with possible world war news due to the following event.
On Friday, 3rd January 2020, the USA undertook a drone airstrike following a series of “orchestrated” attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the past few months and attacks on the US Embassy in Baghdad, all of which was done on the orders of General Soleimani which US President Donald Trump claimed was undertaken to make “the world a safer place”.
Tensions had been building in various other countries as well like Iran and Israel, the US and North Korea etc.
After US airstrikes, Iran has admitted “unintentionally” shooting down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people on board. An investigation found that “missiles fired due to human error”, President Hassan Rouhani said. He described the crash as an “unforgivable mistake”.
A Pakistan passenger plane on 22nd May 2020, crashed near the Jinnah International Airport, just a minute before its landing. A rescue operation was underway at the time of writing and at least 25 houses were destroyed. The flight had 91 passengers and 8 crew members of which only 2 have survived.
Is it too much already? There is more…
Floods hit Indonesia in early January which have killed at least 66 in the country and displaced at least 150 thousand people. Landslides followed floods and had increased the damage.
Early May saw flooding in East African countries. The destruction caused by the heavy rainfall has killed hundreds (at least 260) of people in Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda and Ethiopia and has also forced hundreds of thousands out of their homes.
Communal Riots and Protests
As if nature’s havoc and war wasn’t enough, we even had riots and protests.
The 2020 Delhi riots included multiple waves of bloodshed, property destruction, and rioting that killed 53 people. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) introduced in December last year was seen by protestors as discriminatory to Muslims and threatening their existence in India when combined with the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Hong Kong’s protests started in June last year against plans to allow extradition to mainland China. Critics feared this could undermine judicial independence and endanger dissidents. The bill was withdrawn in September but demonstrations continue and now demand full democracy and an inquiry into police actions. Clashes between police and activists have become increasingly violent, with police firing live bullets and protesters attacking officers and throwing petrol bombs. These protests are still going on and have led to the death of 2 people.
Can’t take it anymore? I will give you a break. Let us look at something interesting.
Aliens Are Real
The Pentagon, US, released three Navy videos that have driven speculation about unidentified flying objects for years, saying it meant to “clear up any misconceptions” about whether the unclassified footage was real or complete.
It was real.
Is it interesting… or more like dangerous, you decide.
A total of 41 people were killed and more than 1,600 were injured in eastern Turkey after an earthquake rattled the region on January 24. Over 1600 were hospitalized because of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake.
Another powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck in the Caribbean on 28th January 2020, prompting brief tsunami warnings and office evacuations as far away as Florida.
It is the most powerful cyclone to hit India and Bangladesh since 1999. Many were evacuated to subvert the damage. Millions across India and Bangladesh were left without power and at least 88 people have died, more than a million homes destroyed. Trees were uprooted and animals killed.
What? Even insects now, this year really has been eerie.
Hundreds of billions of locusts swarmed through parts of East Africa and South Asia in the worst infestation for a quarter of a century, threatening the food supply of tens of millions.
Even more infestations are to follow in India.
Ok… They are not dangerous but millions of them are popping out of the soil with their big starry eyes and loud matting noises (about 100 decibels — it is a lot) is a bit disturbing. These insects reappear usually after breaks, typically 13 years, 17 years or annually depending on species. They are coming out in various states in the US.
Gas Leaks and Explosions
Styrene gas was leaked from LG polymers industrial plant on 7th May 2020 which had an impact on water bodies, plants, animals. 11 people died, over 800 were hospitalized and thousands of people and animals lay unconscious on the street unaware of what had happened when the gas leaked.
An explosion at a gas processing plant on 15th March 2020, killed at least 17 people and destroyed about 50 buildings after a fire broke out in a suburb of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
If you are thinking that’s it then you are wrong. There has been a volcanic eruption in Taal volcanos (Philippines), humanitarian crisis, ebola cases, tornados, fires, celebrity deaths like Irrfan Khan and the list goes on. Not to forget hantavirus which came after corona in China and left people scared of another pandemic.
This decade has got off to a rough start, but there are many things which haven’t been all so bad. This year saw the second man to be cured of HIV, the first cheetah was born by in-vitro fertilization, 5G may roll out soon, less pollution due to lockdowns, doctors and nurses working day and night to help cure corona patients etc. Most importantly it has shown the strengths within us to fight and to remain calm and positive during the most disastrous times.
As Keanu Reeves said, “ Bad things are gonna happen. That’s not negotiable. What is, is how you deal with them.“