(Editorial) One year later

Remembering the events that occurred during the first year of COVID-19


Ben Bolstrum and Matthew Fular

A lot can happen in a year; even when that year is mostly spent at home.

It’s 365 days, or 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes or 31,536,000 seconds. In other words, a lot of time is spent in pajamas and sweatpants. We have made one revolution around the sun since the pandemic rampaged across the globe, and the pandemic was not the only thing making the news. Let’s remember some of the other highs and lows that came with the year 2020.


The NCAA made history when they cancelled the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament due to concerns of COVID-19 spreading; the first time the Annual Tournament was cancelled since it started back in 1939. Adding to the madness that was March 2020, the NBA and NHL announced a pause to their 2019-2020 seasons. Following a few weeks later, the International Olympic Committee announced the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would be postponed for a year.


Actor Chadwick Boseman died at 43, caused by his silent battle with stage III – turned stage IV – colon cancer. The “Black Panther” actor brought T’Challa, the first Black superhero created back in the 60s, to life in the Marvel Universe. Boseman’s star power and legacy live on through the lives he inspired through his movies.

Alex Trebek, the 36 year veteran host of “Jeopardy,” also passed in 2020 from pancreatic cancer. Trebek won five Daytime Emmy Awards for hosting the show, was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and was a winner of the Peabody Award.


COVID-19 found its way to America in late February and officially hit Michigan in late March. The focus shifted from the pandemic to politics as the election year hit full swing when, then former Vice President, Joe Biden clinched the Democratic Presidential Nomination. Biden named Kamala Harris, the first black woman and the first Asian woman on a major party’s presidential ticket, his running mate a few months later. 2020 wrapped up with Joe Biden winning the Presidential Election, proving that third time’s the charm when it comes to running for office.

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor; three individuals who were killed by police officers in 2020, sparking a major resurgence in the Black Lives Matter movement. Peaceful protests, and sometimes not so peaceful protests, were held around the world to demand an end to police brutality and racial injustice.

In September, the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed at the age of 87. She was the second woman to ever be appointed to the high court, helping pave the way for women in law. The “Notorious R.B.G.” was well-known for her blistering dissenting opinions during her nearly three decades run on the Supreme Court.


The world made four revolutions before the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union (EU). The break from the EU, coined as “Brexit,” began in summer of 2016 and while the ties were broken in Jan., it took until the Dec. 31, 2020, to finally transition out of the 47-year relationship.

Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, was impacted by a devastating explosion in early August caused by improperly stored and highly explosive ammonium nitrate. The result of the destruction was 215 deaths, 7500 injuries and approximately $15 billion in property damage. Additionally, the explosion caused an estimated 300,000 people to become displaced or homeless.

A slew of other things occurred, like Putin critic Alexey Navalny being poisoned on his flight to Moscow or North Korea blowing up the inter-Korean liaison office – what served as an embassy for North and South Korea.

In summation

Last year left a lot to be desired, but there is a lesson to be learned even in the most tragic or triumphant of events.

One of the most important lessons that accompanied that pandemic is this: time is what you make of it, and the sum of a year does not have to be bad if it was spent doing good things.

In a quote made famous by the This American Life podcast S-Town: “nil boni hodie diem perdidi” or “I did nothing good today. I have lost a day.”

So, let’s stay positive, do good and make the best of the time we have.

Featured image courtesy of Vanessa Vadasy