20 Good Things that Happened in 2020 

We are finally ending what is widely accepted to be one of the worst years in recent history. And even though this year is coming to a close, it is likely the misfortune will continue on as we enter the new year. Undoubtedly, 2020 has been very tough, almost too tough to put into words. Millions of people have lost their lives to COVID, and with the global pandemic as a backdrop since January, it feels like we are living through an endless reel of bad news. This list isn’t meant to diminish the tragedy and current hardships. Right now, life is undeniable shitty—on various levels. And it is okay to not be okay during this time. So in reading this list, I am not asking you to pretend that everything is fine when it’s not. I am simply providing you with a break from our regularly scheduled doom scrolling to give you a brief moment of levity and remind you while most of it was a flaming dumpster fire, not all of it was bad. Here are 20 good things that happened in 2020.

1. Tiger King Hit Netflix and United A Nation.

While we sheltered in place, we welcomed Joe Exotic and tigers into our homes. I am not sure about you, but I definitely didn’t expect this series to be as shocking, compelling and entertaining as it was. This show was absolutely WILD (no pun intended). And during a time where our country is so divided, I think we can all agree: Carole Baskin killed her husband.

2. People Finally Started to Get the Message: Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter movement formed back in 2013 to combat systemic racism and police brutality against the black community. However, it wasn’t until May 25th 2020, when a white officer stole the breath of George Floyd and took his life after suffocating him for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—did people finally start to get the message. His death sparked protest all over the world, making it the largest civil rights movement in US history. George Floyd was not the first black person to be wrongfully murdered at the hands of police, and sadly he was not the last. There is still so much work to be done, but now that the world is paying attention, we have a better shot at progress.

3. People Voted

The 2020 United States Presidential Election was the most contentious election in US history. The stakes were high, but voter turnout was higher. Reports show that two-thirds of the eligible voters participated in the presidential election, making it the highest participation rate in 120 years! Outspoken also made a playlist for the polls this election cycle. Coincidence? I think not.

4. The Nation Said, “Bye Don!”

Despite what he thinks, Trump lost the election—apparently more than 70 times.

5. America Elected Its First Female, Black, and South Asian Vice President

Congratulations to Kamala Harris for shattering all the glass ceilings!

6. Community Care Flourished

We witnessed communities rally behind small business and small business rally behind communities. Everything from fundraisers, community fridges, free grocery delivery, and other mutual aid initiatives throughout the country. While this is also an indicator of failed societal safety nets, it is still encouraging to see people show up for one another during turbulent times.

7. Our Furry Friends Found Homes

Quarantine left many yearning for some additional company. Reports show that due to the pandemic and many people working from home, there was a significant increase in pet adoptions and fostering.

8. Student Loan Forgiveness is Finally on the Table

With unemployment at record highs, many are left unable to pay for their basic needs, let alone their student loans. With the economy at the mercy of the pandemic, there is increased public demand for loan forgiveness. Prior to the pandemic, there was public pressure on government officials to address the student debt crisis; but now as the pandemic exacerbates the issue, borrowers are calling for action now. The Biden administration has planned to forgive up to $10,000 per borrower after taking office. However, progressive members of congress are calling to increase this amount to $50,000. There are no guarantees that any financial relief will be granted, but for the first time, it’s seriously being considered.

9. Supreme Court Ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Law Protects Gay and Transgender Workers

While it is a bit crazy that we have to write laws that remind people to treat others fairly, it is still victory for US Supreme Court to make it clear and protect LGBTQ employees from discrimination based on sex.

10. Drive-In Movies Are A Thing Again

And you can bring your own snacks.

11. Teachers Finally Got Some Respect

I’ll just let Jimmy Fallon explain.

12. Beyonce Released “Black is King”

At the tipping point of the Black Lives Matter movement, this visual feature was released right on time. “Black is King” has served as an uplifting anthem to the Black community. It is definitely not without its critiques and shortcomings, but overall it is a stunning piece of work and it has fostered hope and pride to many of us in the Black community.

13. Verzuz Battles

Timbaland and Swiss Beatz made a web series on Instagram live, where our favorite legendary hip-hop and R&B artists battle it out with their hit singles. Verzuz had us shaking our tail feathers and wondering why Nelly has three Grammys, but no wi-fi.

14. Leslie Jordan Became a Funny Quarantine Companion

Because he is the quarantine buddy we deserve.

15. Fleetwood Mac’s Song “Dreams” Made A Comeback

This song was originally released in 1977 and has made a recent comeback as a soundtrack to some serious good vibes. Nathan Apodaca cruising on his skateboard with Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice is how I hope to feel in 2021. And because of the success of the viral video, Apodaca was gifted a car from Ocean Spray, and was able to upgrade his RV to a new home for him and his family.

16. NASA Washington D.C. Headquarters is Named After It’s First Black Female Engineer

And her name is Mary Jackson. Not, only did her contributions help American astronauts get to space, but she broke barriers for Black people and women in the engineering and technology. Talk about a remarkable leap for humankind.

17. Malala Yousafzai Graduated from Oxford University

Malala is an activist for female education recognized defying Taliban rule and advocating for women’s right to education. In 2012, the Taliban unsuccessfully  attempted to assassinate her. After her recovery, she would go on to continue her studies in Birmingham, establish the Malala Fund, and became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. This year she completed her studies in philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford and continues to fight for women’s right to learn across the world.

18. A 103-Year-Old Woman Beat COVID

And she celebrated with a beer—and not just any beer, she specifically requested a Bud Light. Got to have respect for a woman that knows what she wants.

19. This 4-Year Old Telling Us that “Every Thing is Gonna Be Alright”

This little boy singing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” is super cute, heart warming, and his sweet little voice does make you feel like everything will be alright.

20. We Now Have A COVID-19 Vaccine

While the pandemic is a nightmare, Pfizer and Moderna’s  development of the vaccine is historic. Vaccines typically take more than ten years to develop, making this vaccine the fastest one ever developed. If that’s not impressive enough, it is also among one of the most effective, with 90 to 95% efficacy. A round of applause for the entire scientific community.

And there you have it. 20 Good Things that Happened in 2020. Like I said, it’s not going to fix this year, but I hope it serves as a nice bit of escapism for you.

Call To Action

  • Take a break from doom scrolling.
  • Take a moment to seek out your own good news.
  • Resume, however you feel is best for you.

–Jessica Couloute, Content Creator

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