From a global pandemic, being quarantined and in lockdown for almost a year, being forced out of our everyday lives and into finding a new norm, global movements for racial justice, to the deaths of prominent figures and loved ones, this year has been tiring for every single human being on this planet.

It’s safe to say that on some level, everyone has experienced some form of emotional turmoil and distress from the never ending, world-shifting events of 2020.  We're still not sure if this year was one massive hallucination, because looking back at everything that went down feels too surreal to be true.  

While we are hoping for things to “go back to normal,” let’s continue to play our part in following  public health orders and being safe as we transport back to the beginning of this year, and go through the timeline of 2020.

Iranian Plane Crash 

The first week of the new year was not off to a great start, considering #WW3 was trending on Twitter because of high tensions between the US and Iran.

On January 9, we faced an unimaginable tragedy, when Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 from Tehran to Kyiv was unintentionally shot down.

All 176 passengers and crew were killed, including 57 Canadian citizens.

Australian Bushfires 

A series of bushfires across Australia caused over 33 people to be killed, over 11 million hectares of the country being burnt to a crisp, as well as the country facing months of dangerous living conditions due to the bush fires. 

Kobe and Gianna Bryants’ Death

One of the most beloved athletes in the world, Kobe Bryant, and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna Bryant were reported dead due to a helicopter accident, alongside seven others as they were flying to a basketball tournament in Thousand Oaks on January 26. This news had left the world grieving for their beloved basketball hero, wondering how Kobe of all people would be killed in an accident so young. 

Impeachment of President Donald Trump

The President was acquitted by the senate on February 5, as Trump faced impeachment charges in January on charges involving the president of Ukraine, to kickstart the chain of allegations against President Trump, leading to an election in the middle of a global pandemic. 

Pipeline Protests 

In February, a number of protests and blockades were held across Canada, in support of Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, pushing back against the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline on their territory in northern British Columbia. 

The billion-dollar pipeline is currently under construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pandemic Declared: First lockdown in BC

The pandemic was declared on March 11, in BC, as strict physical distancing measures were put into place, as we were led into our first lockdown to have a public health emergency to be declared shortly after shutting down the entire city. 

Nova Scotia Shooting 

In April, a gunman posing as an RCMP officer opened fire across a quiet town in Nova Scotia. Over the span of 13 hours, he travelled nearly 200 kilometres through Nova Scotia, killing 22 people.

The tragedy was deemed “Canada's largest mass shooting in modern history.”

BLM Protests

With police brutality leading to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, this led to peaceful protests to demonstrate the need for racial justice and equality for BIPOC individuals across the country, and the world as well.

Jagmeet Singh Removed from the House of Commons

NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, took a stand against Bloc MP by calling Alen Therrien a racist when denying a motion set to call out systemic racism within the RCMP. Singh was removed from the House of Commons after refusing to apologize for his words and actions regarding this incident. 

Beirut Explosion 

A massive explosion at the port of Beirut killed over 200 individuals, and injuring 5,000 others, as a warehouse caught fire causing the initial explosion, damaging surrounding buildings, and debris causing harm to citizens close by. 

West Coast WildFires

Smog from wildfires in California made its way to BC this year, due to a family using a pyrotechnic device to announce the gender of their baby during a gender-reveal party, causing  further damage to the existing Californian wildfires. The fire caused by this family burned and expanded to about 20,000 acres and eventually out of control. 

Trump Tests Positive for COVID-19

Both President Donald Trump and Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19, and were hospitalized for a few days to continue recovering in the White House. Social media was abuzz with memes circulating about the President’s diagnosis.

Joe Biden becomes President-elect

What would add more chaos to 2020 than an election during a pandemic? Especially one where the results took forever to come in.  Joe Biden was named the 46th president of the United States, defeating Donald Trump. Not to mention Kamala Harris being the first female vice president, that too a BIPOC individual. 

Kissan Movement

Even though the Kissan movement began to pick up earlier in the year, farmers across India travelled down to Delhi to put pressure on the central government to rescind the 3 horrific farm bills and fight for their rights. This protest has been peaceful thus far, and has become the largest protestor movement in history to date. Protests have been taking place around the world, by putting pressure on Indian Consulates worldwide to demand rights for farmers in India. 

COVID-19 Vaccine gets approval and begins rolling out

It’s finally here! With healthcare workers now starting to get vaccinated, we now finally have the vaccine out for rollout throughout Canada, and the world as well where individuals will be able to receive it over time, as it becomes available. Here’s to looking forward to a safer 2021, as we all continue to do our part in staying safe by following public health orders to reduce transmission levels. 

What’s next?

There’s no telling what’s going to come in 2021, but all we can do is hope that after a year with this much collective grief, that next year at least spares us some breathing room.

The most important thing we can remember, is that what kept us afloat through most of it was sticking together, even while we were apart -- so in 2021, community will continue to be central to staying resilient and making it through it all.

Happy New Year from the 5X fam!


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5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.