2020: The year of ups and downs


The COVID-19 virus was the main news story of 2020. Photo courtesy of Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash.

2020, the year deemed by Time magazine as “the worst year ever.” This year has brought on new norms that in past years would be considered weird like the new guidelines COVID-19 has brought on, such as wearing masks and social distancing in public. Over the past 12 months, there have been many ups and downs across the country and world. With the year winding down, here is a look back on the eventful year of 2020.

Unquestionably the biggest event to occur in 2020 was COVID-19 and its repercussions. Starting in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, the virus quickly spread throughout the world shutting down many countries. The virus eventually made its way to the U.S., and on January 20 the first confirmed COVID-19 case was found after a man from Washington developed symptoms after his return from a trip to Wuhan. The new appearance of COVID-19 took over lives as the first businesses and schools in the U.S. began shutting down in March.

On March 13, President Trump declared the virus a national emergency. This resulted in businesses and schools, including the Jefferson County school district, to shut down in-person interaction. Over the past 9 months, the number of cases in the world and the U.S. has had multiple spikes, including one that started in November. According to The New York Times, in November alone there were 4 million new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. 

As the year is coming to a close, the head of the CDC, Robert Redfield, says that the upcoming winter could be, “the most difficult time in public health history.”

The 2020 election in the U.S occurred between the two main candidates, President Donald Trump, and former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of Element5 Digital on Unsplash.

U.S. politics made many headlines in 2020. On January 16, nearly three years after President Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, he was impeached. This came after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for abuse of power. Although the House voted to impeach him, Congress acquitted Trump of the charges and kept him in office for the remainder of his term. 

In November, the U.S. elections occurred where Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the running to become the 46th President-Elect of the U.S. Although President Trump and his team have claimed that there was voter fraud during the election, there has been no proof of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“This is probably the most fraudulent election that anyone’s ever seen,”  Trump states in a recent December speech.

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant died in helicopter crash on January 26,2020 with 8 others. Photo courtesy of Olivier Collet on Unsplash.


This year, the world lost many notable celebrities. In January basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash along with his daughter Gigi and seven others. In August, Black Panther and 42 actor Chadwick Boseman died after a four-year battle with colon cancer, which he had kept a secret from the public since 2016. In September, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died after serving on the court since 1993. 

When asked what the worst thing that has happened this year besides COVID-19, Greg Stremel, a student at A-West, says it was Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death.

“The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the possible implication that [her death] has on LBGTQ, colored, and women’s rights,” Stremel says.

One of the latest deaths this year has been Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek who died in November of pancreatic cancer after hosting the game show since 1984.

2020 has taught many people different lessons. 

Stremel says, “(I learned) that you can find positives among the overwhelming negatives.”

Connor Elder’s statement has the same theme of having lots of negatives and disappointments this year.

“This year taught me to live with disappointment,” says Elder.

2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year for many, which has people across the country and world optimistic for the future of a positive 2021.