2020: A Look Back On A Truly Surreal Year

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

When this decade began, I think people were hopeful this would be a reset of sorts. I know I did, 2010-2019 had been pretty rough. Covid wasn't something most of us (unless you're maybe part of WHO or some secret service type shit) could have predicted. A year just as rough as the last 10 I'd been through wasn't what I needed, but it's what I and the world got. I'm going to review someone of the biggest stories and headlines of the year. Covid-19 is of course the biggest story of the year. It went from being an epidemic to pandemic, the announcement was made by WHO March 11th and the way the world worked changed in that instant. This is a story that won't stay in 2020 though, this is coming with us and possibly never leaving. There were a lot of other things that went on this year and shaped the world/us individually. Here are some of those big stories: The Tragic Loss Of A Legend - Losing Kobe Bryant January 26th the world was shook by breaking news that Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash. The funeral had to be held at Staple Centre in LA because so many people wanted to pay respects. Kobe was more than just a basketball star; he was a son, husband, father, friend, to many a role model. He had his own organisation and wrote books, experienced triumphs and hard obstacles. Above all else, like the rest of us he was a human who's presence in the world mattered. The morning of the tragic crash Kobe and the others were headed to a basketball game for Gianna's team. Reports all over the internet say every person onboard died instantly from the impact. His life has a heartbreaking ending, but in the 41 years the world was blessed to have Kobe Bryant he did incredible things and changed many lives. He left a big mark on this world, and is impossible to forget. In many ways he will always live on. Black Lives Matter - The Movement Takes Over The World

This is a movement that has been around for years and is extremely important, but in 2020 how fed up people were with white supremacy and police brutality hit an all time high. After Breonna Taylor was senselessly killed during a no knock order that never should have been approved, George Floyd had his life horrifically taken as a white cop pressed a knee to his neck for nearly 8 minutes, Jacob Blake was shot in the back with his kids watching in their car and too many others were beaten, tortured, or murdered people lost it. They rioted, looted, set fires, shouted in the streets and took a hard stand. Some protests (not only in the US) went on for day or weeks, others for months. Count-less phone calls were made, petitions signed, letters written up , emails sent, donations made. A call worldwide was made to defund or abolish all police, especially in the USA and Canada. This fight won't end in 2020 unfortunately, but I hope the momentum that has picked up doesn't slow down and someday there's an end to this terrible violence.

Big Beirut Blast - The Deadly Explosion Takes Hundreds

On August 4th ammonium nitrate exploded at the Beirut port, in the capital of Lebanon. What the amount was is still being debated. 204 people unfortunately lost their lives that day, more than 7,500 people according to reports suffered an injury and approximately 300,000 people were left homeless. There are conflicting stories on who is responsible and why nothing had been done about this chemical compound, but people continue to demand the answers they know they deserve. This is known to be one of the largest non nuclear explosions in the world recorded, so it was big news all around the world. It was also devastating, especially amidst a pandemic when so much had been lost already. Australia On Fire - Wildfires Become A Concern Worldwide

These devastating fires started in 2019 but rolled into 2020 and were unusually intense. This specific 2019-2020 bush fire season is known as black summer, because of how bad things got and how much loss came from them all. Climate change was a big reason for many of these fires but arson and error in human judgement (aka thinking things got put out that didn't) were also causes. By the beginning of March it was calculated 46 million acres of land had been destroyed. At times smoke could be seen from places such as New Zealand, which is 1000 miles away. In the end fires had taken the lives of 34 people and countless animals. It took until May for firefighters to put every flame in Australia out. This was one of the longest, intense, most devastating fire seasons the continent saw. Vote Him Out - The USA Dumps Donald Trump The bid to make sure Trump would be a one term president was something not only the U.S. cared about, but the whole world. A close eye was kept on this campaign, an even closer one kept on all incoming news election day. What started out as 20+ candidates in the ring to take out Trump in 2020 ended with only Joe Biden going up against him in the end, A lot of people were sure that meant there would be a second term for the one who had done (still is doing) nothing but wrong and bad since taking office right after Barack Obama, but some - myself included - held onto hope residents in the states had enough of Donald and would vote his ass out of office. On November 3rd votes were counted but it took a few days for final results to come in. When they did, the world learned Joe Biden would become the next president of the United States. This isn't just a big deal because a bully was rightfully voted out but this makes Kamala Harris the first woman, black person, and human being with a South Asian background to be Vice President. This is a huge win: for the USA, their allies, much of the world, and in an intense year filled with much pain. Harvey Goes To Jail - The Day Weinstein Was Finally Taken Down

It was March when the wonderful news so many people had been waiting for arrived, Harvey Weinstein got sentenced to 23 years in prison for the rapes and sexual assaults he committed over the years. Accusations started pouring out in 2017 when the #metoo movement picked up huge momentum and 50+ women in the entertainment industry called out Weinstein (and other big names) for wrongful conduct and the mistreatment of women. This may be news that people have forgotten about because this is the same month covid-19 became a pandemic and so much has happened this year, but it's hard for me to forget this or consider it anything less than a huge deal because I'm one of too many females who have been sexually assaulted. This was a win for females and justice. Houdini's Horrific Death - A Toronto Rapper Taken Far Too Soon On the afternoon of May 26th, 21 year old Toronto rapper Houdini was shot and killed near The Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jay's. Early reports first said shots has been fired at King Street and Blue Jays Way, the victim wasn't know right away. I remember hearing the breaking newss. To find out it was Houdini who had been targeted and he didn't survive sent shock waves through the city rapidly. It was devastating news to us in Toronto and people around the world who knew his music. Houdini first got his breakthrough on August 17th, 2007 after making an appearance on a hit single called 456, which was a hit by Burna Bandz and TallupTwinz. That same year he signed a a deal with Toronto based record label UpTop Movement. Before being killed far too young this talented man released two EPs (Hou I Am and Hou Woulda Thought). On March 19th, about two months before the rappers untimely death, he released his first EP titled underGround. He had his whole life ahead of him. He was just beginning a big career. He was known. His music was liked. He was adored. He was loved. The fact he's gone is tragic on many levels. Some may not agree with this making the list but I was a fan of him and Toronto is my hometown, so I know he mattered to people. He was young and talented. He deserved the chance to have a long and happy life. Houdini may sadly be gone, but his memory and great music will forever live on. I'm not naive, I don't think 2021 will roll around and everything will magically be easier and happier. We're individually going to have to work through all the shit 2020 put us through and collectively come together to help rebuild things like our communities and the economy. I don't think 2021 is going to be wildly different than this was given covid-19 is still running rampant all over the world, but I have hope in some ways it will be better!

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