2020: A Year in Review


2020 wasn’t a great year by any standards. There were countless horrible events that happened last year, and they cause headaches to think about. We could list all of the things that made 2020 a total mess for everybody, but instead, here is a review of a few of our personal favorites.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ Victory in the Presidential Election

The historic victory of Biden and Harris was a cause for celebration across the world.  Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in a close, polarizing election, and Kamala Harris became the first female, Asian-American, and African-American Vice President, as well as the highest-ranking woman in American history. Leaders from around the world congratulated the two on their achievements, planning to renew broken ties that came from the Trump administration.

Trump’s loss left many of his supporters… dissatisfied, to say the least. In fact, their dissatisfaction caused them to… no, we’re trying to keep this article positive, so we won’t mention that. Also, it technically happened in 2021, so it doesn’t count.

The Pandemic’s Effect on Climate Change

As we all know, climate change has been one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. The pandemic, caused by the massive spread of COVID-19, had an unexpected effect on our climate. Due to the global shock of the initial spread of the COVID virus, people around the world were driven to their homes. This caused a substantial decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, dropping “10 to 30 percent” according to an article by Jonathan Lambert on ScienceNews.

The graph above shows a substantial decrease in greenhouse gas emissions soon after the world went into lockdown. However, they slowly began creeping up as restrictions began to lift, going from an initial drop from 10 to 30% in March back to around 20% by June. This drop in gas emissions will only last if we continue to make efforts against climate change and global warming. However, this news was definitely one of the highlights of 2020.

Pet Industry Growth

2020 was a great year for the pet industry. Caroline Jansen writing for RetailDive reports the following: “sales at Chewy—which PetSmart acquired in 2017—were up 42.5%, at Petco up 41.8%, at PetSmart up 36%, at PetValu up 42.4% and at Pet Supplies Plus up 76.4%, according to data provided by Earnest Research.” The psychological effects of being alone for 10 months are so great that anyone can see why you would need a pet—this massive increase in the pet industry is due to the pandemic. 

Humans are social animals. According to the American Psychological Association, loneliness affects more than just your mental health: “According to a meta-analysis co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or having alcohol use disorder.” While not having a pet won’t make it so you instantly become addicted to nicotine, it gets the point across. As a pet owner myself, if you can I strongly suggest getting a pet. Petting my dogs can instantly reverse a long day of American Studies stress, something I’m sure all of us could use.

Diet Coke Growth

Trump really had a diet coke button. He had a diet coke button. There isn’t really too much to talk about here—it’s just so incredible that one of the few important objects to be on a President’s desk is a little red button that summons a butler carrying a diet coke.