The killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked protests across the 50 states in the US and also sparked movements across the world.
2020 is not a year any of us will forget soon. The Coronavirus pandemic caused a health and financial crisis around the world like never before. It was also the year of the American Presidential election, in which we saw Joe Biden beat incumbent Donald Trump. The horrific bushfire in Australia early in the year reminded us of the looming climate change disaster awaiting us. It's a been year of personal loss for many with close to 350,000 people dying in America from the pandemic. This year also saw us bid goodbye to many celebrities including Kobe Bryant and Bosewick Chadman among others. Time has been behaving weirdly and it feels like this year has somehow lasted decades but also passed by really quickly. I'm warming up to the idea of time being an abstract concept. Anyway, it's 2020 is a year we can't wait to see the back of. Here are 10 key moments that defined the year 2020.
January 2020: The Duke and Duchess — Meghan and Prince Harry — announced that they were stepping down as senior members of the Royal family and wished to alternate between the United Kingdom and North America. The palace followed this by releasing a statement confirming that the Duke and Duchess would become financially independent and cease to represent the Queen.
January 22, 2020: A 30-year-old man from Washington, returning from China, had tested positive for Coronavirus, confirmed Health officials. Authorities started screening people traveling in from Wuhan, China, to major airports such as California and New York, reported The Washington Post. By January 31, America recorded its first person-to-person transmission of the virus in the country. An Illinois woman who was diagnosed with Coronavirus had transmitted the disease to her husband, making it the first confirmed case.
February 6, 2020: President Trump survives an attempt to remove him from office after he's acquitted by the US Senate. Republicans backed the President against the two impeachment counts leveled against him — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The President labeled the attempt to remove him from office as a hoax. "It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars," said Trump after he was acquitted.
February 9, 2020: While this can feel like from a million years ago, we can assure you Bong Joon-ho's Parasite won Best picture at the Oscars in February, 2020. We double-checked. In a really sweet moment on stage on the day, director Bong Joon-ho quoted Martin Scorcese as his inspiration. It felt like a celebration of cinema. The year 2020 was only getting started and much like the house party in the climax of Parasite, the Oscar win was just the calm before the storm of the year that was 2020.
February 24, 2020: NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away along with his daughter Gianna Bryant and a few others after a helicopter he was traveling in crashed near Calabasas, California. The LA Lakers legend was 41 and was en route to an academy game where he coached his daughter's team. Kobe Bryant's untimely death shocked, not just the world of Basketball, but all the world.
February 25, 2020: Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after he was found guilty of third-degree rape and sexual assault in a Manhattan courtroom. He was cleared of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape. More than 80 women including high-profile actors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Uma Thurman, and Salma Hayek accused the producer of sexual misconduct. "This is a great day. The trash has been taken out," said Rose McGowan, who accused Weinstein of raping her, reported CBS News.
The killing of George Floyd sparked protests all over America and subsequently across the world. A Minneapolis cop kneeled on George Floyd's neck as he pleaded for his life and told the cop, "I can't breathe." It proved to be his final words. Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for eight and a half minutes while Floyd and passerby's pleaded with the cop to ease the weight on the Black man's neck. Floyd died of asphyxiation. Similarly, Breonna Taylor, a Black healthcare worker, was killed in the dead of the night after entering her home unannounced. These killings by the police force caused a stir across, especially because the video of Floyd's death was posted on the internet. Millions took to the streets to voice their protest. Trump often used force to quell protests. Protesters also tore down statues of problematic historical figures who owned or traded slaves.
October 2, 2020: President Donald Trump had announced that he and the first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Coronavirus in early October. Donald Trump was criticized for not wearing masks and often downplaying the virus. Ironically, Trump had access to some of the best medical facilities in the country. Trump made a dramatic return to the White House within a week and was campaigning in no time.
November 3, 2020: Joe Biden became the new President-elect of the United States after beating incumbent Donald Trump in a closely contested election. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as President on January 20, 2021, with Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, becoming the first woman Vice President-Elect of the United States. The Democratic Presidential nominee Biden, 77, flipped Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to crossing the required 270-mark. Trump has since been repeatedly making false claims about the election being fraudulent but there's actually no evidence to support his claims.
Margaret Keenan became the first person outside of trial to receive Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine on December 18, 2020. She also received the second dose of the medicine earlier this week, making her the first person to be fully immunized against the coronavirus, reported The Hill. Margaret Keenan said it was a privilege to get the vaccine. So far, America has recorded more than 340,000 deaths and could really do with the extensive distribution of the vaccine.