What happened in 2020

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Curtesy of Creative Commons

During quarantine due to COVID-19, many restaurants only allowed outdoor seating, and facial masks were required.

Jamie Adams, Staff- Writer

2020 was a memorable, yet crazy year. When each individual looks back on the year, everyone will have different perspectives and reflect on them in their own way. The events will soon become history, and an unforgettable one at that where future generations will learn just through textbooks.

The craziness of 2020 started on Jan. 3, with the Iranian leader being killed. After a drone strike issued by President Trump took out Qasem Soleimani, the second most powerful person of Iran, Americans were hesitant for what 2020 was to bring.

While many citizens thought they were facing the worst, across the world, China had its own issues. What would soon take over the year of 2020, was just beginning in China. The virus known as COVID-19 first began to spring about.  In hopes to eliminate the virus, China went into a complete lockdown.

Many American citizens were not worried of the virus, until suddenly it was brought into the United States. The first known case of COVID-19 was brought by a man who was traveling in Wuhan, China, who later then returned to his home in Washington. This would soon begin the outbreak and spread in America. In March, the country began its first lockdown, schools were closed, businesses and restaurants shut down, and the country was given a stay at home order.

According to Stephen Kissler, an expert on infectious diseases states, “COVID-19 will require wearing masks, physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and limiting the sizes of gatherings.” This created fear and chaos within society.

There was a major run on supermarkets which led to shortages of necessary supplies as people were preparing for the worst. Since then, 365,000 Americans have died from this virus, and there have been 21.7 million cases in the country. While many efforts have been made to reduce the spread, little progress has been made. Cases are still rising, and deaths are still following.

While America was working to fight against this pandemic, shortages were not only seen within supermarkets as medical supplies also became scarce. The government was working to protect its frontline workers as well as its citizens that had fallen ill to the virus. Frontline workers were forced to work overtime and put their lives on the line in hopes to protect the safety of others. America was not the only country that was impacted by the virus, as it had quickly become a global pandemic.

With all of the chaos happening in the world, protests also occurred. With quarantine slowly being lifted, new requirements were put into place. The government required a mask mandate in hopes to stop the spread. This meant that masks were required by all Americans whenever they were in public. This requirement made people question their constitutional rights and individuals began to speak out. Protests were the new trend for these anti-maskers.

While the country was still facing the pandemic, another movement was beginning to take place. Racism has been preset in the U.S. even after the civil rights movement. Americans began to speak out against discrimination and police brutality. A face for this movement became known as George Floyd. This created more riots, protesting, and led to the Black Lives Matter movement. These protests soon went international, putting every citizen on edge.

While these movements were taking place, COVID-19 was still a major problem. For months, researchers were working to create a vaccine. Unlike most vaccines, this vaccine was developed at rapid rates. Americans were concerned for the quick development and whether or not they trusted this new treatment. The Trump administration put much time and money into helping researchers succeed. In December 2020 the first vaccines were distributed.

Skyler Mahoney, a senior at Stephen Decatur was not hesitant when the vaccine became available to her. Mahoney states, “The vaccine seems to be the closest thing to normalcy right now. I was given the opportunity to get it and I want to keep my household and community healthy and safe.”

While COVID-19 was a concern for many Americans, so was the upcoming election. Trump was up for re-election and Joe Biden was running against him. Many Americans questioned the way Trump had handled the protests and the election showed that. Biden won the presidential election, but Trump was not willing to go out that easily. Trump fought against the results and believed that the election had been rigged.

Because of the global pandemic, voting by mail became the safest way to show allegiance and have the vote placed. It was soon found that many cases of voter fraud took place. Although Trump fought the election results and investigated the cases of voter fraud, he ultimately conceded and Joe Biden was elected the 46 President of the United States.

When asked about the year of 2020, Stephen Decatur senior Kaya Colley states, “This year was more than crazy, it created challenges that none of us were expecting, but it also brought hope. Hope to have a fresh start with a new year and to overcome any hardships.”