January of 2020 started with a third state of emergency in Australia, as the ongoing bushfires threatened the south coast and US drone strike took place, killing the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. On just the 7th, WHO was notified of Coronavirus cases in China. Just a day later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their royal duties in Buckingham Palace and Iran launched ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq, which injured American soldiers. On January 11th, China recorded its first Coronavirus death. By the middle of January, President Trump found his impeachment trial starting and Buckingham Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would no longer use royal titles or receive public funds for their royal duties. January 23rd saw Wuhan, China being put into the first lockdown of many, impacting 11 million residents. Later in the month saw the tragic helicopter accident in Calabasas, California which saw the passing of Kobe and Gigi Bryant, alongside seven other passengers. That evening was the 62nd Annual Grammys Award Ceremony which saw Demi Lovato’s return, and Billie Eilish breaking records. On January 29th, the first confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the UK were recorded and the end of the month marked the start of the 11-month transition process for the UK to withdraw from the European Union.
February of 2020 started with the Streatham stabbing in London on the 2nd, and Trump being acquitted by the Senate of both articles of impeachment on the 5th. The 8th of February saw Storm Ciara bring devastation, followed by Storm Dennis later in the month. The film, Parasite then swept the Oscars taking home four awards. Harry Styles was attacked at knife-point of Valentines Day but was okay despite being shaken up. February saw the WHO naming Coronavirus, Covid-19 and the tragic passing of Love Island presenter, Caroline Flack on the 15th. The 20th of February saw the new £20 polymer banknote entering circulation in the UK and days later Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of his crimes. On the 29th, Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds released that they were expecting a baby this year.
March was probably the most eventful month of the year and set the tone for 2020. On the 4th, Katy Perry announced her pregnancy in her music video, ‘Never Worn White’ revealing her baby bump at the end, leaving fans shocked. Just a day later, the first person in the UK died of Covid. March 10th saw Italy be the first country to implement a nationwide lockdown and the next day saw the WHO declaring a 2020 pandemic. On the 13th, football fans saw the Premier League 2019-2020 season being suspended, for the first time since World War 2. The 14th saw UK retailers begging customers to not panic buy products such as pasta, hand gel and toilet paper as it was swept off the shelves in fear and the 15th was the first of many daily televised press conferences by the UK government to update the public on our fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday the 18th of March, schools in the UK announced that Friday would see them all shut, except for the children of keyworkers and vulnerable children, declaring no exams will take place in England and Wales this academic year. The 50th anniversary of Glastonbury Festival was next to be cancelled, and March 20th saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordering all cafes, pubs, and restaurants to close that evening alongside nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and many more. The furlough scheme also started but the only positive out of this day had to be the release of Tiger King. On March 22nd, The Nursing and Midwifery Council announced more than 5,600 former nurses registered to offer their services in the fight against Covid-19. On the 23rd, Boris Johnson announced the official lockdown with immediate effect, stating people are only to leave their homes for “very limited purposes”. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics was postponed until 2021 earliest and a day later, Bindi Irwin tied the knot with Chandler Powell at the Australia Zoo. On the 25th, Prince Charles tested positive for Covid-19 and the following Thursday saw millions applauding the NHS And other care workers on their doorsteps at 8 pm, labelled ‘Clap for our Carers’. Nearing the end of the month saw both Boris Johnson and health secretary, Matt Hancock testing positive for Covid-19. If March wasn’t crazy enough, it was also the release of the cover of ‘Imagine’ by celebrities, if you remember that!
April started with the global cases of Coronavirus surpassing one million, and the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital, London being the first temporary critical care hospital to open in the fight against the pandemic. On April 5th, Queen Elizabeth II made a rare broadcast to the UK and wider Commonwealth, something she has only done four other times. The address thanked people for following the new guidelines and paid tribute to key workers as well as stating the UK ‘will succeed’. On this day, Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for Covid treatment. The following day, April 6th, Boris was moved into intensive care and Captain Tom Moore began his fundraising campaign for NHS Charities Together. On the 8th, Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 race, making Joe Biden the Democratic nominee going up against President Donald Trump. The 12th saw Boris Johnson being discharged from hospital and later in the month saw the first human trial in Europe for a Coronavirus vaccine, in Oxford. Boris returned to work after three weeks of illness, and the 28th was when the nation silenced for a minute, to commemorate the key workers who had passed away due to Coronavirus. On the 29th of April, Boris Johnson announced his baby was born, and he named him, Wilfred. His name paid tribute to the doctor who saw to Johnson when he was being treated for Covid-19. The last day of the month saw the announcement of Gigi Hadid’s first pregnancy with One Direction star, Zayn Malik.
May saw astronomers announce the discovery of the first black hole visible to the naked eye and many fall ill, or die, due to the styrene gas leak in India. Research was found on the 11th, that fossils show humans came to Europe possibly thousands of years sooner than we previously thought. In the middle of May, the UN warned that we had a global mental health crisis due to uncertainty and loneliness, with the global death toll exceeding 300,000. A first in history was seen as the World Health Organisation held its first annual assembly using video conferencing, rather than in-person. The US later announced they will withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty within six months. Brazil overtook Russia with Covid cases on May 22nd, but still, President Jair Bolsonaro dismisses the threat of the virus. 2 days later, a ‘once in a decade’ storm battered over 3,000km of the coast of Western Australia. May 25th saw the death of George Floyd by police officers using excessive force in America, which was followed with protests all over the world, against racism and police brutality. As protests started against racism, Costa Rica became the first Central American country to legalise same-sex marriage. On May 27th, Covid cases in America passed 100,000, which is more Americans than those who died in the Korean War and Vietnam War combined. On May 30th, the first crewed flight of the SpaceX Dragon 2 launched from Florida being the first in America since 2011 and May 31st saw global Covid cases pass 6 million worldwide.
June 1st saw six new cases of Ebola and the 2nd was when the US filed a class action law suit against Alphabet Inc and Google alleging violating users right to privacy, tracking them in Incognito mode. On June 3rd, Putin declared a state of emergency in Russia after 20,000 tons of oil leaked into the Ambarnaya River and the following day, Hong Kong legislative council passed the controversial National Anthem Ordinance. On June 8th, worldwide cases of Covid passed 7 million, and a Havard University study suggests COVID-19 may have been spreading as early as August 2019. 8 days later, worldwide cases of Covid passed 8 million and an annular solar eclipse occurred on June 21st. The next day, Covid cases passed 9 million and by the end of the month, cases worldwide passed 10 million with over half a million deaths.
July 1st saw Russian voters back a constitutional amendment meaning Putin will remain in power until 2036 and by the 12th, China had reported 141 dead or missing in floods since June, with 28,000 damaged houses in the process. On July 15th, Twitter accounts of prominent figures, CEOS and celebrities including Obama, Biden and Kanye West, were hacked to promote a Bitcoin scam. On July 19th, the Brahmaputra River floods left 4 million homeless, and killed 189 people in India and Nepal. Later, European leaders agreed to create a €750 billion recovery fund to rebuild EU economies and worldwide Covid cases passed 15 million. On July 30th, NASA launched its Mars 2020 rover mission, in an attempt to collect samples and prepare for human missions in the future.
August started with the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE becoming operational, being the first nuclear power station in the Arab World. On the 4th, two explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, killed over 220 people, injuring thousands with approximately 300,000 left homeless. Worldwide Covid cases passed 20 million and Israel and the UAE agree to normalise relations, marking the third Israel-Arab peace deal. The largest environmental disaster in the history of Mauritius occurred on the 15th, with around 1,000 tonnes of oil spilling into the ocean. On August 23rd, Bayern Munich won the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League, beating Paris Saint-German in the final. Two days later, Africa was declared free of wild polio and Jeff Bezos became the first in history to have a net worth exceeding US$200 billion. By the end of August, worldwide Covid cases passed 25 million.
September began with the discovery of 200 mammoth skeletons in Mexico City and La Línea highway tunnel in South America opened, measuring at nearly 9km, after 14 years of construction. Pope Benedict XVI became the longest living Pope at 93 years, and Bahrain and Israel agree to normalise relations, making the fourth Israel-Arab peace deal. By the middle of the month, the Royal Astronomical Society announced phosphine was detected in Venus’ atmosphere, which acts as a strong predictor to microbial life. Two days later, worldwide Covid cases passed 30 million. Later in the month, a 1643 edition of Shakespeare’s, The Two Noble Kinsmen, was discovered in Spain. It is believed to be the oldest copy of his work in the country. On September 21st, Microsoft agreed to buy video game holding company, ZeniMax Media for US$7.5 billion. This is the most expensive and biggest takeover in video game history! By the end of September, worldwide Covid deaths exceeded one million. My personal favourite moment of September had to be when Neil Buchanan, from Art Attack, had to deny rumours of him being Banksy!
October started with huge protests breaking out in Kyrgyzstan, following accusations of an ‘unfair’ election. The middle of the month also saw protests in Thailand, imposing media censorship. On October 17th, Jacinda Ardern won New Zealand’s general election by a landslide, for her second term in office. Days later, Covid cases worldwide passed 40 million and after an 11-year de-mining process, the Falkland Islands are declared free of land mines. Israel and Sudan marked the firth Israel-Arab peace deal and NASA confirmed on October 26th, the existence of molecular water on the sunlit side of the moon. On October 29th, The International Organisation for Migration confirmed the death of at least 140 migrants, who had drowned in a result of the deadliest shipwreck of 2020. On Halloween, Boris Johnson announced a second lockdown in the UK, due to increasing cases throughout September and October.
November 3rd saw the first of a 5 day process of the US Elections, resulting in Joe Biden being elected, defeating Trump. Global Covid cases passed 50 million on November 8th, and the following day saw a successful phase III trial for Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid vaccination. By the 18th, the Pfizer and BioNTech completed their trials for the Covid vaccination. On November 19th, Shuggin Bain by Douglas Stuart won the 2020 Booker Prize. Following this, AstraZeneca’s AZD12222 vaccine developed with Oxford University, was showing positive signs also. By the 25th, worldwide Covid cases passed 60 million and on the 27th, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated. The final day in November saw a penumbral lunar eclipse; the last of four lunar eclipses in 2020.
December started with the UK being the first country in the world to approve Pfizer’s BNT162b2 vaccine and the first nation to begin a mass inoculation campaign using a clinically authorised, fully tested vaccine. Days later, the official height of Mount Everest was agreed at 8,848.86m after speculation. 2 weeks later saw the US and Canada follow suit, approving the Pfizer jab, with COVID cases passing 75 million globally. December 20th saw a new highly infectious Covid-19 strain spreading in Europe, provoking travel bans across the world and the next day saw the first reports of Covid in Antarctica. On this night, Jupiter and Saturn were spotted at just 0.1 degree apart, being the closest conjunction between the two planets since 1623. Christmas Eve saw a Brexit deal sealed and on the 29th, the 2020 Petrinja earthquake in Croatia, killing seven and injuring over 20. On December 30th, the UK approved AstraZeneca-Oxford’s vaccine, being the second to become available, bringing much hope to the nation.
Happy new year, from us all at The Student Aspect Magazine.