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2020’s Over! Wait, What Even Happened This Year?

2020 has - without a doubt - been one of the most unforgettable years of our lives, and I don’t mean that in a good way. We witnessed communities becoming dependant on food banks, families celebrating their milestones via Zoom calls, and cancellations of all our favourite activities, like sporting events, concerts, weddings, travel and more. We watched, hopelessly, as loved ones said their goodbyes through windows and struggled to cope with tight, isolated living-quarters. As we approach New Year’s Eve with exhaustion – and a sense of hope that 2021 will bring more joy than the past 12 months – here’s a review of some of this year’s biggest moments, the losses we experienced, and the small doses of happiness that may have slipped your mind. 

January 

Australian bushfires devastated the country, displacing thousands of families from their homes and killed millions of animals as a result of habitat destruction and a scarce food supply. 

Meanwhile, on January 25th Canada confirmed its first COVID-19 case in Toronto, Ontario. 

February

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, was famously photographed ripping her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address, making headlines across the country, the world, and most of all – social media.

March

Italy entered crisis mode as the country’s healthcare system drowned in its fight against the pandemic. Canada saw the closure of borders and beginning stages of lockdown to slow the spread of the virus. On March 6th, Canada’s first COVID-19 death was recorded in Vancouver.

April 

On April 18th, the province of Nova Scotia was devastated by a mass attack. 23 people lost their lives, and Canadians from the East coast to the West felt the impact.   

May 

The month of May was illustrated by images and news coverage of protesting in the streets of Minneapolis over the murder of George Floyd. The movement spread across the United States, and soon cities in Canada saw activists taking to the streets, too, all in the name of Black Lives Matter and other social justice campaigns. 

August

An explosion in Beirut, Lebanon killed over 190 people, injuring more than 6,000. People around the world rallied together to raise funds for the city and its citizens. 

September

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman ever to serve on the US Supreme Court, passed away on September 18th . She presented one of the strongest voices for gender equality, the workers’ rights and the separation of church and state in Supreme Court history. Ginsburg was also considered instrumental in the ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. 

November 

The United States elected their 46th president, Joe Biden, and November 3rd, with Kamala Harris as his Vice President. Harris will be the first female, Black and South Asian Vice President in the entire history of the US. 

December

On December 7th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made the biggest announcement of the year – a light at the end of the tunnel. Following the lead of the UK and the US, Trudeau told Canadians that the country will receive and distribute 240,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine before the end of the year. The first vaccine was administered soon after.  

Adapting to life in a pandemic was…challenging, to say the least. Add that to the normal ups and downs of life, and you’ve got a pretty tricky year. However, as we count down the final few days of 2020, be kind to yourself and acknowledge how strong you were in the face of a difficult year. 

2021 is almost upon us, but mind if I offer a word of advice? Be mindful that the fresh start of a calendar year isn’t going to dramatically change the state of the world – despite the fact that we all deserve more than this year gave us. There will still be obstacles ahead, and we’ll move at a slow pace towards or old, normal lives. Either way, we will get there – just as we managed to survive 2020. 

Be kind to yourself, check in on your loved ones, and keep your head up because 2021 is waiting. Tread lightly, and this will be your year! 

Stephanie is in her fourth and final year of studying Communication & Sociology. You'll most likely find her drinking a London Fog while playing Sudoku, watching "Little Women"(2019) or taking pictures of her 2 cats...
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