Let’s be blunt here: 2020 was a train wreck of a year. The COVID-19 pandemic, absurd amount of weather disasters — thanks, climate change — and a stressful election have left many of us looking to the future and thinking that things couldn’t possibly get worse. However, in an effort to be more positive, I have scoured the internet for five positive news stories from this year and I am pleased to say 2020 was not all bad.
Santa Claus and the pandemic: According to The Good News Network, Santa Claus has been named an essential worker in places across the world. With the help of social distancing, plexiglass shields and face coverings, the magic of Christmas for children everywhere will prevail despite the pandemic. According to the article, one mom in Scotland is going above and beyond to share the magic of Christmas: “On Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. we are asking everyone to come outside and ring a bell for 2 [minutes] to spread Christmas spirit and to help Santa fly that sleigh.” Kathyrn Stubbs penned in a Facebook post, “After a tough year, it would be an amazing memory for the kids and communities. End 2020 with a bit of magic, hope and togetherness!” Not even a pandemic can break the Christmas spirit.
COVID-19 vaccine: Since the beginning of this pandemic, research scientists around the globe have been racing to create a vaccine for COVID-19. There are currently two big front runners in this race, with Moderna’s and Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccines so far having about a 95% efficiency rate in early testing stages. For more information on how these efficacy rates were calculated, please visit this New York Times article.
2020’s women Nobel Prize winners: In a society where much of an individual's success can still be barred based upon their gender, race or sexuality, 2020 became the second year in which science prizes were awarded to more than one woman. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for their hard work in developing a method for genome editing. According to CNN Health, the work these scientists have done has “brought new opportunities for plant breeding, [is]contributing to innovative cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.”
Our oceans aren’t entirely doomed: According to an article entitled “Rebuilding Marine Life,” scientists have predicted that marine life could recover from human intervention in the next 30 years if policies around overfishing, pollution and habitat restoration are implemented swiftly. According to these optimistic researchers, “biodiversity losses in the ocean are less pronounced than on land and many marine species are capable of recovery once pressures are reduced or removed. This does mean, however, that humans need to start doing their part and taking responsibility for the mess they have created.
Betty White: In a year full of devastating celebrity deaths, one beloved celebrity is still kicking! Betty White is 98 years old, told Closer Magazine, “I’m blessed with incredibly good health.” According to a friend close to her, “she wants her fans to know that it’s OK to put your life on pause and take a beat every now and then. Betty’s message to the world is to slow down and enjoy what you have: family, friends, your pets.”
Despite all the bad in the world, I truly do believe that if you look for the good, you will find it. No matter what your 2021 looks like, it is important to reflect on how far you have come in the challenging year that was 2020.
By Rachel Van Horne, News Editor