2020 predictions: A timeline of this terrible year and what comes next
July is almost over, which means more than half of 2020 has already passed. This year has been filled with so many events and unforeseen situations that it’s been hard to keep up. Being in lockdown hasn’t helped either – time perception is a mysterious thing.
This year has been a rollercoaster and we still have five months to go. We put together some of the biggest events of this year to give us some perspective about how weird this year has been.
Jan 2: Australia’s fires
This year started with awful news as wildfires started in Australia. Though fires are usual in Australia, this year’s were extremely intense and ended up affecting an extremely large area.
Jan 3: Death of Qasem Soleimani
The very next day, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force Qasem Soleimani was killed in an airstrike ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Jan 16: Trump’s impeachment trial
Trump was accused of digging up information on Joe Biden and obstructing the investigation. The impeachment process began on December 18 of last year but the trial started almost a month later.
Jan 26: Kobe Bryant
A helicopter Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and her friend’s family boarded crashed in Calabasas, CA on January 26th. Every person aboard the helicopter was killed; causes of the crash are unknown, but conspiracy theories with considerable evidence behind them abound.
Jan 30: WHO public emergency
The outbreak of the disease that was originally reported in Wuhan, China, was finally declared a public emergency. The World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern six times since 2009.
Jan 31: Brexit
The United Kingdom left the European Union and entered a transition period expected to last eleven months, meaning that the UK will continue following EU rules for this period even though it has officially become independent.
Feb 5: Trump acquitted
After being found guilty in the lower U.S. House of Representatives, President Donald Trump was found not guilty in a Senate vote of 52-48 in favor of acquitting. Only two representatives of 435 and one senator of 100 voted against party lines.
Feb 7: Australia’s floods
As if January’s wildfires weren’t enough, Australia had to go through a flood in the Mid West Coast. Unfortunately, the flood did not reach the fire areas, so wildfires were not extinguished by the heavy rain.
Feb 11: COVID-19 official name
Almost two weeks after declaring Public Emergency, the WHO finally names the disease.
Feb 27: Stock market crash
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the stock market plunged – the biggest week-long crash since the 2008 crisis.
Feb 24: Harvey Weinstein found guilty
After the accusations against Harvey Weinstein during the #MeToo movement, Weinstein was found guilty. The film producer was acquitted of three other charges, including two that could have earned him a life sentence.
March 9: Lockdown in Italy
Although Italy started a lockdown in some regions, it wasn’t until March 9th that the lockdown was enforced widely in the country. The lockdown regions contained about a quarter of the Italian population.
March 11: COVID-19 declared pandemic
COVID-19 spread dramatically in the first three months of the year. In March it had affected over eight hundred thousand people worldwide.
March 13: Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor was shot at her own house after police officers entered her apartment executing a no-knock search warrant. Breonna’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had shot the officers thinking they were intruders. Taylor died after being shot eight times.
The locust invasion that started in 2019 continued through this year. As of April 2020, the locust swarm had affected twenty-three countries. In Kenya alone, 172,973 acres had been destroyed by the insect plague.
Apr 12: Urbi et Orbi
Urbi et Orbi is a papal blessing that is given on special occasions. Pope Francis gave the blessing to an empty auditorium due to the worldwide impact of COVID-19.
Apr 14: U.S. WHO funding suspended
Trump expressed his disapproval of the way the World Health Organization handled the pandemic and deemed the institution unworthy of further funding.
Apr 29: Asteroid flyby
The 52768 asteroid passed near the Earth on April 29th. It was considerably larger than other asteroids, with an approximate 4km (2.55-mile) radius.
On May 7th, Gregory McMichaels was arrested for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. On May 21st, William Bryan was also arrested. The two had shot Ahmaud Arbery after seeing him jogging in the Satilla Shores neighborhood.
May 21: Over five million COVID-19 cases
On May 1st, one million were diagnosed with COVID-19 worldwide. By May 14th, the death toll exceeded 300,000. On May 21st, over five million cases were registered worldwide.
May 25: George Floyd
After allegedly passing a $20 counterfeit bill, George Floyd was arrested by the police. During his arrest, he was asphyxiated by one of the officers who had pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck while holding him in the ground.
May 27: Murder hornets
Panic spread in North America as murder hornets were seen in May that had killed fifty in Japan.
May 31: SpaceX manned flight
Elon Musk’s company launched its first populated flight as part of the Commercial Crew Program. The ship Dragon 2 flew to the International Space Station, departing May 30th and arriving at the ISS on May 31st.
After Arbery’s, Floyd’s, and Breonna Taylor’s death protests started emerging in the U.S., protests spread internationally and continue today.
June 28: Over 10 million cases
At the beginning of June, the death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 400,000 and the number of cases had reached seven million worldwide. By June 28, 10 million cases had been confirmed.
July 15: COVID-19 reaches South Korea
After a possible case of COVID-19, Kim Jong-Un declares a lockdown in North Korea.