From the very beginning of the new year, things have been, well, odd. It hasn’t necessarily been “a bad year” or “a good year”, but an odd year. If you feel like you’ve been stuck in the Twilight Zone, you’re certainly not alone. Here is a recap of some of the more significant events, including but not limited to:
Jan. 2: The very first week of the decade, Donald Trump ordered an attack on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. After Soleimani’s assassination, many individuals worried about the repurcussions of the attack. Thus, the World War III memes were born.
Jan. 3: The memes reflected the worries of men ages 18-25, the draft age. The Selective Service System’s website crashed on January 3 because of the large amount of traffic. The anxiety of being drafted into a potential war with Iran originated from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. According to USA Today, the confusion came from question 22 on the FAFSA form which states “Most male students must register with the Selective Service System to receive federal aid. If you are male, are age 18-25, and have not registered, fill in the circle and we will register you.”
Jan. 20: Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, announced that they would be leaving the Royal Family. According to CNN, the two are stepping back from the royal family “to work to become financially independent, while continuing to support the Queen.” This is no surprise, because of the extensive British harassment and racism targeted at Meghan Markle, an American, biracial woman.
Jan. 22: The beloved logo and mascot for Planters Peanuts, “Mr. Peanut,” died in a car crash explosion. He died heroically sacrificing his life for his two human friends. Fun fact: Mr. Peanut’s real name is Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe, but everyone called him Mr. Peanut, so it stuck.
Jan. 26: Kobe Bryant, famous for his basketball career on the Los Angeles Lakers, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and 7 others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) declares the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
- The sun’s clearest picture to date is captured by Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) in Hawaii. According to News Scientist, this is the largest solar telescope in the world.
- In Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 31–20, securing the team’s first Super Bowl win since 1970.
- Baby Nut makes his big appearance as the resurrection of Mr. Peanut in a Super Bowl ad. There are mixed reactions from Twitter and the internet about the nut’s name and appearance. Some say the nut is adorable, others say it needs to be destroyed.
Feb. 4: Trump gave The State of the Union Address to Congress on the state of the government and his administration’s actions during his presidency. Nancy Pelosi famously rips up her copy of Trump’s speech she was given.
Feb. 5: Donald Trump is acquitted of impeachment and removal from office on the charge of abuse of power.
Feb. 6: Astronaut Christina Koch conducts the longest spaceflight in history by a woman, 328 days in space, on the International Space Station. She is a member of Expeditions 59-60-61 according to NASA.
Feb. 11: The World Health Organization (WHO) officially names the coronavirus disease COVID-19.
Feb. 27: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunges by 1,190.95 points, or 4.4%, to close at 25,766.64, its largest one-day points decline in history” according to CNBC. This fall can be attributed to the spreading of the coronavirus and the fears associated with the disease. This week marked the worst for the index since 2008.
Mar. 5: Senator Elizabeth Warren drops out of the Democratic presidential race. She leaves Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders as the top contenders for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election.
Mar. 11: The NBA suspends the regular season and cancels March Madness, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and Rudy Gobert, a player for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, tests positive.
Ongoing: Universities close and resort to online classes in lieu of the COVID-19.
While these events may not be the most positive, as the famous saying goes: “There’s only one way to go, and that’s up.”