Positive highlights from 2020

Morgan Jeremy, Reporter

Considering everything that happened in 2020, most of us couldn’t wait to leave last year behind and embrace the new year with open arms. However, with all of the focus usually directed towards the many challenges brought by the year 2020, we often forget the little things that made 2020 a whole lot more bearable. Here is a list of 10 positive things that happened in the year 2020.

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1. Essential Workers of the Pandemic

When the world was thrown into uncertainty following the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, millions of essential workers all across the country rose to the occasion to provide for the American people. 

Amidst a worldwide pandemic, these individuals worked tirelessly to research the disease, construct treatment plans, and eventually develop a vaccine that will help save thousands of lives and prevent further spread. 

Without a doubt, these heroes on the front lines are one of the most incredible things to come out of 2020.

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2. Surge of Creativity

As people slowly became accustomed to the new reality of life in a pandemic, it resulted in an explosion of creativity and ingenuity as we learned new ways to go about our daily lives. Entire restaurants switched completely to take-out and delivery, while local business branched out online and on social media to maintain sales. 

Advances in technology produced programs like Zoom which help us interact with friends, family, loved ones, and employers safely, from anywhere in the world. 

Even weddings shifted to virtual ceremonies as couples found creative ways to still get married without the traditional large gathering.

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3. Universities also found ways to adapt to stay open

When faced with the possibility of a complete remote shut-down, many Universities were able to develop and enforce policies allowing students a safe return to campus. 

The University of North Florida was one of these universities that successfully administered a COVID-19-friendly campus environment to keep students safe. By encouraging practices like UNF’s Four Key Pillars to Shared Responsibility and enforcing campus-wide mask mandates, the University of North Florida and other universities have been able to remain open and maintain a relatively low case count.

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4.) Global Protests for Racial EqualityFollowing one of the most horrific recorded displays of police brutality, the death of George Floyd brought about one of the largest Civil Rights protests in history as individuals across the globe gathered together in support of Black Lives Matter. 

Though often met with resistance, the movement succeeded in bringing more awareness to racially motivated police brutality and making significant strides in policy and police reform.

For example, on June 11, the Louisville, Ky. Metro Council unanimously voted to pass Breonna’s Law, banning no-knock warrants and requiring officers to wear body cameras when serving warrants. The name is in remembrance of Breonna Taylor, a young woman shot and killed in her own home by police executing a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night

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5.) The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, ensuring more protection of LGBT+ rights. 

On June 15, 2020, The Supreme Court ruled that in accordance with the language used in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, individuals of the LGBT+ community are legally protected from being fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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6.) Record amounts of voter participation in the 2020 presidential election

According to an analysis of the NBC News election research, over 157 million people voted in this election and voter turnout improved significantly across all 50 states and 98% of counties!Young voters especially played an important role in the election.

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, or CIRCLE, calculated that around 53%-56% of young people ages 18-29 voted in the 2020 election and were responsible for 17% of the vote.

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7.) Kamala Harris was elected the first female Vice President of the United States.

Former Senator of California, Kamala Harris, made history by becoming the first black person, first person of Asian descent, and first woman to be elected as Vice President in the 2020 presidential election alongside President-elect Joe Biden.

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8.) New scientific discoveries that could lead to potential new inventions

Even in a global pandemic, scientists are researching and working to improve life as we know it and contribute to a better tomorrow. 

The Smithsonian Magazine was able to document ten of these discoveries in their recent article, “Ten Significant Discoveries from 2020 that may lead to New Inventions.” 

Included in this article is information on how by researching the fins of round gobies, scientists will be able to develop advancements in robot sensory technology. It also includes information about the deep-sea giant larvaceans and how by observing their habitats, scientists may be able to create a biomimetic inflatable filtration system to improve HEPA filters.

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9.) The arts have adapted to stay alive.

Without a doubt, one of the hardest-hit industries in the pandemic has been those involved in the arts. Musicians, singers, actors, performers, and more lost their livelihoods as the world shut down in March following the coronavirus outbreak. 

However, determined to stay alive, many artists were able to find new ways to continue their work safely, performing over livestream and relying heavily on social media.

To help ensure the future of the arts, the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the “ResiliArt” movement which will host virtual global debates with renowned artists to raise awareness and funds for the arts community.

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10.) You!!!

That’s right, you!

2020 was extremely tough for all of us and the fact that you are still here is something to be proud of! You are not the same person who started in 2020. You are stronger, smarter, and ready to handle anything 2021 throws at you. 

You hold the power to make 2021 into whatever you want it to be, make it great. 🙂

Featured image courtesy of Shaurya Sagar via Unsplash.


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