2020: worse to worst

2020: worse to worst

Erika Allen

   2020 has been an insane time with ups and downs, but mostly downs. This rollercoaster of a year has felt as though it’s gone on for a century. While it may have seemed bad the whole way, each month has varying degrees of terrible. From the perspective of a Michigander, there is a clear ranking of the months from bad to awful.

12 – February

   To start off, the least bad month of this incredibly long year was February. February was the calm before the storm of COVID-19, and it was the most normal out of any other time this year. During February, Trump was acquitted by the senate during the impeachment hearings, leaving him in office until the end of his term. While not being the most interesting month, February was a small moment of peace before everything else that happened this year.

11 – July

   July is the next month on this list. Overall, this month wasn’t too bad given the circumstances, but it did have its downfalls. COVID-19 cases spiked again for what would be the second time this year. It’s hard to say what caused this increase, but it could have been due to states reopening too quickly after cases had previously gone down in June. Also during this month, Jeffery Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested for her relation to Epstein’s crimes, bringing hope that justice may come to the victims of those offenses.

10 – June

   Proceeding July on this list is June. During this month, COVID-19 cases were the lowest that they had been since the beginning of the pandemic, leading many states to begin reopening. This decrease in cases was short lived, but it was still a nice break. The Black Lives Matter protests continued into this month, with several instances of police using violence against protesters. During this month, the name “Antifa” became more used in the media when President Trump declared it a terrorist organization, despite the name being short for “anti-facist” and not really being an organization. 

9 – May

   Next on the list, May was definitely an important month this year. George Floyd, a black man, was killed by police after an officer knelt on his neck for an extended duration of time. This excessive use of violence caused an uprising of protests from the Black Lives Matter movement. These protests united communities across the country, demanding justice for the victims of police brutality. Also happening in May, a species of giant hornets was spotted in North America. They ended up being called the “murder hornets”.

8 – December

   Concluding this year, December put itself in a middle ground between alright and terrible. Early on in this month, a former Israeli space security chief claimed that aliens exist. No other proof has been provided, but this claim has added fuel to UFO conspiracy theories. Later this month, COVID-19 vaccines have been released, starting with the elderly, high risk, and healthcare workers. While “normal” is still far away, this could be setting us back on track to get there eventually. Additionally this month, the state of Texas filed a lawsuit to the supreme court to overturn the results of the presidential election. However, this lawsuit was dismissed, and on December 14th the electoral college voted for Joe Biden, making him the 46th president of the United States.

7 – January

   Coming back to the beginning of the year, there is January. There was no COVID-19 in the United States yet, and it was still just “the disease in China”. Despite that, 2020 wasted no time, with President Trump drone striking Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, putting everyone at fear of war. Thankfully, nothing happened after that, but it was still an extremely shocking event.  Also in January, wildfires in Australia burned up acres of land and endangered thousands of species. The fires destroyed many homes, and the damage cost a total of around $100 billion. 

6 – April

   Ahead of January, next month on the list is April. While this month wasn’t great, compared to everything else this year, it definitely wasn’t the worst. April was the first time COVID-19 deaths really spiked, totaling 50,000 deaths. This wasn’t good by any means, but it was better given how much worse things have gotten since then. Because of these numbers, the Michigan lockdown was extended, and students quickly realized that they wouldn’t be going back to school for the year.

5 – October

   Jumping ahead in the year, the next month is October.. October was off to a quick start with President Trump testing positive for COVID-19. This was ironic given his stance on the virus for the majority of the pandemic, but he ended up recovering, unlike many others. This month, the total number of COVID-19 deaths reached 200,000 in the United States, the highest out of any other country. Also during October, the FBI shut down a plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. However someone may have felt about the lockdown, kidnapping the governor was probably not the best way to solve that. Finally, Amy Coney Barret was confirmed to the Supreme Court, filling RGB’s seat about a month after she passed. This decision was controversial due to her having a seemingly strong political bias, but only time will tell what that affects. 

4 – September

   After October in this list comes September. September spiked hot political debate when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at age 87, leaving her seat in the supreme court open. A justice dying during an election year has only happened once when Justice Antonin Scalia died towards the end of the Obama administration. In this instance the Senate chose to wait until the next presidency to fill the seat. However, that decision was put into question when talk of filling RGB’s seat happened instantaneously. Later this month, the first presidential debate happened between Trump and Biden. The debate was about as chaotic as one would expect and had Americans on the edge of their seats to see how this election would turn out.

3 – November

   The third worst month on the list goes to November. 2020 also happened to be an election year on top of everything else, and this election was anything other than ordinary. Being between President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden, there was a lot at stake. Biden won a majority vote, and was called to be the next president of the United States. However, things were complicated by the Trump administration claiming that there was widespread voter fraud and that the results of the election were supposed to be in favor of him. Conveniently, none of these allegations had any merit in court, but they did cause distrust in the democratic process. To top off this month, COVID-19 cases rose again, causing Michigan to shut down, and putting schools back online. 

2 – August

   Following November on the list is August. While being mostly uninteresting, what did happen this month was extremely unfortunate. Major wildfires broke out in California, causing smoke that could be seen across the country. These fires have been devastating, and they’ve been even harder to deal with given the added stresses of the pandemic. Also in August, Chadwick Boseman, the star in “Black Panther”, passed away due to complications with cancer. As a whole, this month did not have much to offer aside from tragedy.

1 – March

   To finish off, the worst month of this very odd year is March. It feels so long ago now, but this was really the moment when things turned around in 2020. COVID-19 reached the United States, sending everyone home and changing lives permanently. This month was when Michigan first went into lockdown and schools were shut down for four weeks. While initially it seemed as though it would only be about a month before everything went back to normal, the realization slowly sunk in that the pandemic would last longer than anticipated. New habits had to be adopted very quickly, such as wearing masks when going to public places, staying 6 feet apart, and washing hands regularly. This month also proved how difficult education was going to be from here on out, as most students stopped paying attention to virtual learning within a few weeks. Overall, March was awful.