A Look Back at 2020

KatieAnn Nguyen, Staff Writer

It’s hard to believe that 2020 has finally ended and that we’re now into 2021. Back in March, we never thought we would get here, but now, here we are. Now take a moment and just breathe, how does it feel being in a new year? (Especially with a year like 2020 leading us up to it.) 

When I think back on 2020, the first things that come to mind are the pandemic, quarantine, and the Black Lives Matter movement. All these events have been less than ideal, to say the least, but there have been good things to come out of it as well. 

While the pandemic is still affecting us right now, during the first few months, there were many unknowns. The unknowns that came with it brought a sense of fear and anxiety. However, no matter how much the pandemic seemed to throw us down a step, we managed to recover and take two more steps forward. It may not look like that now, but it’s through little things that we’ve been able to stay strong and overcome the pandemic as best we can. The pandemic brought a sense of a stronger community, of a united people coming together. (I’m sure we have all seen at least one video showing people around the world going through the same thing as us and encouraging us through it.)

Along with a stronger community, carbon emissions have gone down as well, which is a good thing for the environment! The reduction of people traveling has decreased the amount of carbon emissions we release into the air, impacting the environment in a beneficial way. While we may not be able to tell, this reduction in carbon emissions has in turn given us cleaner air as well. In addition to this, essential workers have been shown well-deserved appreciation. Before now, when you thought of a hero, the first thought that came to your mind was probably not the clerk from your local grocery store or that Uber Eats delivery person. To see appreciation given to these workers, as well as healthcare workers, is truly heartwarming.

As a result of the pandemic, we were faced with a quarantine placed as a safety precaution. It was definitely a change of pace from normal life, but it was enjoyable at first. Personally, I found the influx of free time on my hands refreshing, even indulgent. It was nice to take a break from things, to start up new hobbies, and to do things I never could do before. I’m sure the thought, “I wish time would just stop” has crossed peoples’ minds at least once, and with quarantine, it was almost as if it had. We’ve lived our fast-paced lives for as long as we can remember, so to finally get this break, it was more than relaxing. We forget that we all need a break from time to time, and quarantine gave us that break that we’ve all needed. 

The Black Lives Matter movement was not disheartening in the protests that took place, but the discrimination that prompted it. We’ve gone through trial and trial again over hundreds of years for racial equality, and to know that it still holds its place in our society in the twenty-first century is just humiliating. To see the Black Lives Matter movement take place was inspirational in its shows of resilience and strength. It was touching to know that people would stand up for others, to know that people would come together in such a strong way and protest together. Actions were being taken from not just the United States, but other places around the world as well, in support of the movement. Seeing people strive for change and for a world where we can see racial equality as a reality was simply moving. 

It’s easy to think of the bad things that came from 2020, but if you look at it harder, you will manage to see some good in it as well. While 2020 was full of trials and difficulties, there was still joy and compassion for those who choose to look for it. 

Cheers to the new year! We’ve finally made it!