ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – COVID-19 has killed over 330k Americans so far, making 2020 America’s deadliest year by far. Amid a deadly pandemic, America has dealt with one of the most incompetent leaders and a government unwilling to put the interests of American workers ahead of the interests of large corporations. Temporary restrictions due to COVID-19 have failed to slow down climate change as much as climate scientists were hoping and record amounts of Americans are experiencing food insecurity. 2020 seems like one of the worst years in recent history. It probably is, but to lighten up the holidays, here are some positives that have happened throughout the year.
First, one of the most positive events taking place in 2020 was the broad and diverse coalitions of decentralized protests taking place after the tragic incidents involving the murders of Armaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Although these protests happened on the backs of police brutality and murder amid heightened tensions between police officers and black communities, they displayed solidarity between diverse groups of people. Protests in 2020 marked a new wave of the civil rights movement, where different races and ethnicities – that have seldom had anything in common throughout history – unite with each other for a common cause. America’s youth is now hungry for justice and they displayed that they would do whatever it takes to end the systems of injustice in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
Many people have been afraid to go out since the pandemic began, so they stayed home. Not everyone has been given the choice to stay home during the pandemic though, with millions of workers forced to stay home due to job losses while others lacked shelter. However, while many people are staying home and others are trying to find a place to stay, many in the community are standing in solidarity with families impacted most by COVID-19. The United States has seen a surge in volunteering according to data collected by LinkedIn. LinkedIn users from the United States have added over 110,000 volunteer activities per month to their profiles, as organizations like Crisis Text Line, a 21st century mental health texting service saw a 310% spike in volunteering compared to 2019. A lot of volunteering activities have also been geared toward civil rights activism, climate activism, and political advocacy: NAACP volunteers have organized cleanups in numerous cities such as Chicago, 4Ocean organized community cleanups in coastal areas such as Daytona Beach, and left-leaning organizations and candidates have seen a surge of volunteer activity.
2020 has already appeared to be a script taken right out of a Hulu drama, with the unlikely global events that have occurred, it is a year people are eager to escape. As much as the year has been nail-biting, it has not been a nail-biting as the South Korean drama feature Parasite. Directed by South Korean screen writer Bong Joon-ho, Parasite became the first foreign language film to win the Oscar Academy Awards for Best Picture in its 91-year history. This is an important victory because it encourages many hesitant film buffs to consider stepping outside of their comfort zones and watching foreign films with subtitles, helping them gain appreciation for the diverse nature of the film industry. Parasite also provides positive commentary on class struggles and social inequalities. This ranks as one of the top positive events of 2020.
For the past four years, American democracy has been subjected to a great test. The values that America holds has been suffering tremendous injuries from the hard blow of revitalization of the southern strategy and the growth of far-right activism. Although the horror has not ended and the wounds are far from healing, November 7th, 2020 marks the day when Americans finally saw some of the storm clouds clearing as Democrats managed to repair the “blue wall.” Although progress may not have been reached, America is approaching that progress. Amid a deadly pandemic, over 81 million Americans voted against populist racism, xenophobia, and kleptocracy.
Finally, to finish off 2020, millions of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccinations are being administered for COVID-19. As many Americans are experiencing the death of a loved one due to COVID-19 complications, the vaccinations provide hope where it seems hopeless. There are two more vaccinations currently undergoing phase three of testing: AstraZeneca and Janssen. The listed COVID-19 vaccinations are also expected to effectively fight against the new strand found in the UK.
Overall, 2020 has been a painful year for many families because of COVID-19, corruption, and greed at the top. Many are looking forward to a fresh start to the new year, but others already feel like they have lost everything. Although 2020 has been a stressful year for the nation, during the holidays, it is worth taking a moment to look back at the positive moments of 2020, whether they have been personal or not. As 2021 rounds the corner, it is time to go in with a positive outlook and yearn for positive changes. Happy New Year.
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Nathaniel Douglas is a newly elected Supervisor on the Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Board, making history as the youngest to ever be elected to that board, and was the youngest elected official in the state of Florida during the 2020 election. He is a Florida National News political contributor. | firstname.lastname@example.org