From the beginning, 2020 was heavily stacked against us and the passing months gave us very little to cheer about. We were all eager to leave 2020 behind where we survived united by fears and lockdowns. The year 2020 did come with its set of defining moments that has changed the world irrevocably.
Let’s look at the 5 defining moments of 2020 that will stay with us for a long time.
Until the end of 2019, coronavirus was a viral infection bothering China and we were very grand with our sympathy feeling secure that we had nothing to worry about. Even when US reported its first case in January 2020, most of us believed Covid was under control. India also marked its first case on January 27, 2020. Soon on 11 Febraury 2020, WHO announced “COVID-19” as the name of the new disease. By March 2020, we were told that the world was dealing with a pandemic. Soon, masks, quarantine, lockdown took over our lives across the globe. All over the world, more than 1.81 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19. We have spent 2020 battling the tiny coronavirus. It was a year of learning new social skills, while we tried our hands at living a new normal sanitised existence.
Black Lives Matter
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year old African American was handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a police officer’s knee, leading to his death. The whole incident was recorded on video where one could hear George Floyd saying, ‘ï can’t breathe”. The video went viral and the digital wave lead to worldwide protests against police brutality and racism. The disturbing video made George Floyd the Emmett Till of the 21st century. The Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum across the world which led to monument removals and name changing across the world even in the midst of the pandemic. The movement also witnessed riots and looting but there was a widespread recognition of the need for greater sensitivity to racial issues which saw several high profile brands and public in general taking an affirmative stance towards structural reform. In India, Fair and Lovely cream changed its name to Glow and Lovely. The memorial site where Floyd was killed on has been renamed the George Floyd Square.
Death of SSR
On June 14th, popular Hindi film actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his home. What followed was a wild circus with social media and the news channels spinning multiple baffling narratives. The following months witnessed unhealthy speculation on his death by the social media and news channels. The public called out on nepotism and the struggles faced by the outsiders in the film industry. The smooth running public relations narrative of the big stars and powerful personalities failed to control the raw public anger against them. The unholy nexus of drugs and stars was added to the crazy mix. The public anger went frontal with showers of dislike subjected on some of the Hindi movies trailers. The film industry has dismissed the dislikes as the job of unemployed trolls but only time will tell if the movement will bring any constructive change in the way the industry functions. Even as 2020 ends, the mystery surrounding SSR’s death is yet to be cleared.
US Presidential Elections
Even through the pandemic and the George Floyd death protests, America was witnessing the presidential campaign. The outcome was never sure but after the vote counting, Joe Biden won the election and is all set to become the 46th President of the United States of America. The world struggling with the pandemic was caught up in the drama unfolding at the White House as the US President Donald Trump refused to accept defeat quoting voter fraud and electoral malpractice. President Trump continues to believe that poll results are not accurate and fails to be gracious in defeat. The world is waiting to watch how the Presidential Inauguration ceremony will unfold on January 20th, 2021 and whether Donald Trump will participate. Joe Biden will take on the responsibility to navigate America through the growing pandemic crisis.
From the time COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, countries across the world have been working towards a vaccine. The making of a a vaccine is a long time consuming process which requires several trials before being used among the general public. One of the fastest developed vaccines was the mumps vaccine that took four years. So, we can feel great pride and relief that we have managed to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 before 2020 ended. In the US, Pfizer and Moderna have been authorized as vaccines for COVID-19. Today, India has approved the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University which promises 70% effectiveness after three weeks. Covishield developed by the Pune based Serum Institute of India is the vaccine that has gained approval. It will be given in two doses 4-12 weeks apart.
We are leaving 2020 behind on a very hopeful note as we are all set to begin Covid vaccination, a sure sign of the better times to come.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2021!