2020 was worse than we realized

“Happy New Year!” The crowd roared in Times Square on January 1, 2019. Finally, 2020 was here. Little did we know,  our hopes for a good year would be shattered shortly after the clock struck midnight. 

   2020 was even worse than we realized.

   The COVID-19 pandemic, the death of Kobe Bryant, Australian wildfires, and riots are some of the main events of 2020. However, with the spotlight being shined upon those incidents, many others were pushed into the shadows. With the beginning of the new year, it is important that we look back and recognize some of the unnoticed events. We tend to get so caught up in our own events that we block out the others.

Flash floods in Somalia

In April, Somalia was struck with lethal flash floods caused by heavy amounts of rainfall. In Hirshabelle, South West, and Jubaland, entire communities were ravaged. The floods “impacted more than 105,000 people,” the organization Action Against Hunger (AAH) said. Homes and crops were destroyed along with riverbanks and water sources. For villages such as Balguri, Damaley, Raqeyle, and Aytire in Afgooye, the floods impacted “6,500 people and displacing 3,000 from their homes,” AAH said. In America while we were worriedFile:2016 27 Beletweyne Flooding-4 (27309119055).jpg - Wikimedia Commons about COVID-19, Somalia was trying to survive both the pandemic and being engulfed by the floods. And we thought we had it rough. Since April, the floods only continued to demolish everything in its path. The floods “…have affected nearly 500,000 people since late June,” the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. Somalia is still continuing to rebuild the damaged areas and recover after these devastating events.

Multiple explosions in Beirut, Lebanon

In late August, massive explosions battered Lebanon’s capital, killing at least 70 people and injuring 3,000 citizens. Before much investigation, President Donald J. Trump spoke about the event, saying that the explosions may have been an attack. “It was a bomb of some kind,” Trump said during an official meeting. However, Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that “2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored in the warehouse that exploded in the Port of Beirut.” The ammonium nitrate had been there

Beirut explosion .. Dozens of dead and thousands wounded in the port area,  and Beirut declared a disaster city - Teller Reportsince 2014, meaning it was essentially a disaster waiting to happen. The explosions left thousands wounded and dozens dead. CNN reported that Trump said the United States has a “very good relationship with the people of Lebanon and we will be there to help.” Lebanon still continues to push forward and rebuild the city from the explosion aftermath.

Church attack in NiceFile:Basilique Notre-Dame Nice Inside.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

On October 29, terror struck a basilica in Nice, France. A man entered the Notre Dame Basilica early in the morning after it had opened and stabbed three people with a seven inch knife. The police got to the scene and captured the suspect. The victims were a 60-year-old woman, a 55-year-old man, and a 44-year-old woman. None of the victims had any relation to one another. According to BBC News, French “President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday’s stabbings were an “Islamist terrorist attack”. Security is being stepped up throughout France.” Flowers and candles were placed outside of the basilica to honor and mourn the loss of the victims. France’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, claims it was a terrorist attack and that security must be stepped up immediately. “”We need to understand that there have been and there will be other events such as these terrible attacks,” Darmanin said. France has been working on extra security measures since the gruesome attacks.

Deadly earthquake in Turkey and Greece

On October 30, the day after the knife incident in Nice, Turkey and Greece experienced a 4.4 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake killed 27 people and destroyed at least 20 

File:Old stable in Greece.jpg - Wikimedia Commonsbuildings in Izmir, Turkey. Authorities have called the natural disaster a “mini tsunami” due to the flooding of the Greek islands such as Sasmos. Shops in the Greek towns were destroyed. Many people were inside buildings when the earthquake hit, leaving them trapped in the debris after the buildings collapsed. Luckily, many people were saved by emergency response teams from the rubble of destroyed buildings. “At least 804 people have been injured in Turkey, said the country’s disaster agency.” CNN reported. Turkey and Greece braced themselves for another earthquake, but as of now, there hasn’t been another disaster since. The two countries have continued to help pull each other out of the aftermath.

Poisonous mystery pollution?

On the eastern shore of Russia, Kamchatka, many surfers are irate about 

Free Images - SnappyGoat.com- bestof:Siberia from the Yenisey basin  eastwards to Kamchatka, northern Koryak, eastern Magadan Oblast, northern  Khabarovsk Krai, southeastern and northern Sakha east

increased water pollution. They have reported “ocean water pollution so bad that it’s poisoning them,” said CBS News. Thousands of aquatic animals have been found dead and washed up on the shore. Kamchatka is famous for its immaculate, clean beaches. So naturally, when dead octopuses and jellyfish lined the ocean shore, the citizens knew something was wrong. The Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Aleksei Kumarkov said “…an analysis of water samples had revealed the presence of petroleum products at levels four-times what they should be,” CBS News reported. It still remains unclear as to what chemical is killing all of the animals. As for the surfers? There have been tweets about how they “…have experienced problems with their eyes after returning from the water. White shroud, blurred vision, dryness. Sore throat. Many had nausea, weakness, high fever,” CBS said in regards to tweets from Russian citizens.

   Since 2020 came to a close, it was even worse than we could’ve imagined. There are so many events that were unheard of due to the abundance of COVID-19 updates and lack of news from outside of America. It is important going into 2021 that we educate ourselves on events that are happening all over the world. Even just checking the news app on your phone once a day can do the trick. We must not let important events slip into the shadows. We must have hope that 2021 brings light into the world rather than the dark times we experienced in 2020.