2020 has been an unprecedented year that has felt like we’ve been hearing one piece of bad news after another. With all of the downright depressing news and fears surrounding Covid and our uncertain futures, you’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing good has come from 2020. However, we’re happy to say that it isn’t all doom and gloom. Some fantastic things have happened in 2020 as well!
Africa was declared free of Polio
Poliovirus is a highly infectious life-threatening disease that can affect the brain and spinal cord, leading to paralysis. Fortunately, on 25 August the World Health Organisation released the incredible news that Africa was now free of the wild strain of the virus that has plagued the continent for years.
Drive-in Cinemas have made a comeback
Great news for movie buffs and car enthusiasts everywhere – the drive-in cinema has been making a comeback in 2020 worldwide! This unlikely comeback is a positive outcome from Covid restrictions, whereby people can still enjoy a fun trip out to the cinema while staying safe and socially-distanced from others in their vehicle.
Lowest pollution levels ever achieved in the world’s most polluted cities
2020 saw the world go into a standstill with most countries completely locking down, banning all non-essential travel. With air-polluting traffic halted and aeroplanes grounded, many highly polluted cities saw a noticeable decrease in their pollution levels. For example, the typically highly polluted city of Delhi witnessed a massive drop in PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide of more than 70% during its lockdown. This was also true for many highly polluted cities across the world, including Wuhan, where the virus broke out. Sadly, with lockdown easing the pollution levels have begun to rise again. However, the apparent cause and effect of human interference will hopefully shake those in power to take action to keep the pollution levels down.
Jumpstart on technology adoption
Another positive outcome that has happened due to Covid is the increase in virtual options. With many people being in lockdown and unable to leave their homes, technology has been vital in keeping businesses running and allowing us all to stay connected. Remote working, virtual gatherings and telehealth have all become part of our everyday lives. Due to the increased demand, technology has improved dramatically in 2020, making it easier than ever for us to keep in touch with loved ones remotely. Many people working from home have found that they enjoy the work-life balance it allows, and it is clear that many businesses may never return to being solely run from an office.
Nations globally celebrate the Biden win
The 45th President of America, Donald Trump, was – to say the least – a controversial figure who left many people divided. However, it would seem that his unpopularity extended far beyond the U.S. as many people from nations around the globe were triumphantly celebrating the end of his four-year term as President when Joe Biden won the election in November. Another piece of positive news to come out of the 2020 U.S. election is that Biden’s Vice President will be not only the first female Vice President but also the first African-American and Asian-American Vice President.
103-year-old Grandma beats Covid
Luckily for Jennie Stejna, a centenarian grandmother who lives in a care home in Massachusetts battled Coronavirus and lived to tell the tale. The feisty grandma clearly wasn’t going to let Covid win and, as her granddaughter said, “she has always had a fighting spirit.” The grandma decided she wasn’t going to let surviving the deadly pandemic phase her and reportedly the first thing she requested upon her recovery was a Bud Light beer. The photo of Ms Stenja enjoying her beer went viral, providing some much needed positive recovery news for the virus.
The One World concert raised nearly $128 million for Coronavirus efforts
In times of hardship, the human race often pulls together to beat adversity, and 2020 has been no different. In April the ‘One World: Together at Home‘ virtual concert saw over 100 major celebrities come together to help raise money for the World Health Organization and other Coronavirus efforts by performing a virtual concert that people could enjoy from the safety of their own homes. The benefit that was organised by Global Citizen and curated by none other than Lady Gaga aimed not only to raise money but also to promote social distancing whilst lifting people’s spirits during the lockdown. This heartwarming show of solidarity really helped to highlight how we are all in this together and provided hope for those feeling scared and alone during isolation.
Top celebrity chefs offer free cooking classes for people in lockdown to try something new
During the lockdown, many people found themselves without work, unable to visit friends or family or to go out and enjoy a meal or other activities they would usually do. Therefore, many people decided to try to improve their cooking skills – did someone say banana bread? Celebrity chefs have been making this even easier for budding cooks everywhere by uploading free recipes on social media. Chefs such as Colin Fassnidge, Hugh Allen (from Melbourne’s Vue de Monde restaurant), and Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski, all offered free online cooking lessons. Even the much loved Maggie Beer has gotten in on the action and has been posting nightly classes live from her home. Maggie ensures that the recipes are simple and cheap to make for all to enjoy.
Teen girls invent life-changing app for patients with dementia
Three teenage girls from Nigeria made the world a better place for those who have dementia with the invention of their award-winning app: ‘Memory Haven.’ The app can be used by patients and carers and contains face and voice recognition technology to help the user recognise their loved ones. The app comes with a number of games to help improve cognitive functions and can also detect when the user is sad and play music to help soothe them. This achievement is impressive in and of itself, but combine that with the fact that it has been designed by young women, who are only aged between 15 and 17, within the male-dominated STEM field—thus providing great news for people living with dementia and aspiring young women everywhere.