2020 in Review


Patty Mcdonald

The end of 2020 brought the exciting roll out of COVID-19 Vaccines. Former physician and now teacher at Brockton hospital, Dr. James Gilbert, was one of the first healthcare workers to receive the vaccine.

We are a few weeks into 2021 and the events of 2020 are still fresh in the minds of everyone. The New Year did not reset the problems of 2020, however, as it usually does, it served as a time for people to look back on the previous year and all that it meant. 2020 was certainly full of major historical events. A once in a century pandemic ravaged the world, America began to deconstruct it’s history of racism through nationwide protests, and the most important election in political history occurred.  

Undeniably, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the global population. It confined nations to months in quarantine, took the lives of thousands of people, and changed life as we know it for everyone. No one was unaffected by the pandemic. In many parts of the nation, students and teachers  needed to adapt to fully remote school, making learning and teaching incredibly difficult. However, near a semester into the school year, Hingham High School has adapted and now is succeeding in it’s hybrid learning environment. 

Another incredibly influential part of this year were the massive protests resulting from the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. After this event, the nation, and the entire world,  erupted into thousands of peaceful protests against police brutality. As a result of these protests, America began to seriously look at it’s past and sought ways to improve its treatment of people of color. Police reform bills were proposed and with the American population now focusing on race in a new light, it is hard to imagine that the nation will not continue to change in the years to come for the better. 

Another major part of the year was the Presidential Election. Despite the majority of the nation being under heavy restrictions due to COVID-19, the election still ran smoothly and elected Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. President Biden is set to be sworn in in a few days. Despite the results of free and fair election, many supporters of the current president, Donald Trump, and even Trump himself, are contesting the election. From here, the political stage is a mystery of wondering how far these supporters are willing to go in order to contest the election results. 

So much occurred in 2020 that it was difficult to keep track of all of the historical events. Australia and then California was ravaged by horrific wildfires destroying large amounts of land. We lost many celebrities, including Kobe Bryant, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Trebek, and Chadwick Boseman. The incredible Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also passed away in September. Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett to take her seat in the Supreme Court. The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump concluded with Trump being acquitted. Many famous people contracted COVID-19, including Donald Trump. 

It is difficult to predict how the world and the nation will fare moving forward. After the riots on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the political arena is filled with unease and uncertainty of what is to come. Many Americans are hoping that a Biden presidency will bring some much needed sanity back to the nation and that he will help unify a nation that is so divided right now. 

As vaccines for COVID-19 are beginning to be distributed, the population is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel of this long, tumultuous year. The vaccine will not return things to normal immediately, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. 

2020 will certainly be a year to remember. Though 2021 will by no means be an instant fix all, symbolically, letting go of this horrible year feels therapeutic. Let us enter the new year on a reflective note, as we contemplate how we watched the world change around us. I wish everyone the best of luck in 2021 and that hopefully, we can begin to see a light at the end of this very long dark tunnel. 

On the global stage, the last year’s news was, of course, dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, 2020 was by no means lacking in major world events: just days into the year, fears of a US-Iran war abounded after the January 3rd killing of Qasem Soleimani. Not too long thereafter, Britain officially left the EU after four years of political wrangling and 47 years of membership.

In Nagorno-Karabakh, war took precedence over the pandemic. Conflict broke out in this disputed territory after tensions flared up yet again between Armenia and Azerbaijan, leading to over 1,000 deaths and hundreds of injuries on both sides. The territorial dispute began in 1988, but the events of 2020 mark the most serious escalation since 2016. Many were disturbed by Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan in the conflict, seeing it as an eerie echo of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

2020 was also a year of unrest and political change: in Belarus, Thailand, Bolivia, and Hong Kong, political protests attracted international attention, while in India, the farmer’s protest began and continues to unfold. Around the world, the death of George Floyd in June had a major impact, leading to massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations in countries like Slovakia, Nigeria, Brazil, and many more. Rumors of Kim Jong Un’s death shocked the world, while the poisoning of a top Putin critic angered many.  

Yet in spite of this unrest and anger, 2020 was also marked by unprecedented global unity and cooperation. After experiencing major tragedies like the Australian bushfires and the deadly Beirut explosion, countries were met with a global outpouring of support and sympathy. The Abraham Accords were signed into action, the US saw the highest voter turnout in 120 years, and Italians famously sung from their balconies during a nationwide lockdown. Perhaps most significantly, a coronavirus vaccine finally arrived, bringing the end of the pandemic into sight. 

It feels like something of a relief to have survived a year as turbulent and unpredictable as 2020, even if the repercussions of its major events will still have a major impact on 2021. Life changed rapidly in Hingham, America, and around the world, and if the first week of 2021 is any indication, things will continue to shift dramatically this year.  

However strong the symbolic end of a horrible year is, there will be less, but possibly equal pain and discomfort in 2021, which we will have to mitigate for ourselves. Therefore, as great as it is to send off 2020 in jubilance, we must keep our heads in the current mindset as this moment is not the end of all that pain.