A Year of Chaos

The year 2020 was one of the most bizarre years our generation has been a part of. For years, 2020 had been looked forward to by many people, but that year took a turn for the worst in the very first month.

 On January 26th, legendary basketball star Kobe Bryant passed away in a tragic helicopter accident. The news sent shock waves throughout the world and was very upsetting news to many people. Many sports stars honored Kobe as well as almost every single professional sports league. Not only were leagues such as the NBA affected, but everyday people were deeply affected too. In fact, Mason Dudley, Class of 2021 at Cape Henry, described how “the death of Kobe was very upsetting, and it was very tough because he was one of my idols.” The death of Kobe Bryant started off the year with a horrible event and as Dudley described, “2020 was rough, there was practically a horrible event every month.”

Following the death of Kobe Bryant, the year continued to get worse. On January 9th, the World Health Organization announced that a deadly “Coronavirus” had emerged in Wuhan, China. When this news was announced to the world, it was not that big of a deal in the eyes of national governments, but this changed very quickly. By early March, Coronavirus had made its way to the United States and began affecting thousands of US citizens across the country. The virus led to the cancellation of all major sporting events including March Madness. Coronavirus has made the entire world adapt to a new style of life, and thousands are still dying every day. Though it is tough to find a bright spot from the virus, it served as an opportunity to focus on certain activities. For example, Dylan McGruder, Class of 2021, said “in terms of a bright spot, due to social distancing, I was able to go surfing more because that was one of the only activities I could do.” Mcgruder was able to find a positive outlook, but the year of chaos was far from over.

Just when America thought they were dealing with enough, the death of George Floyd shook the nation to its core. On May 25th, A Minneapolis Officer killed George Floyd by pinning his knee to Floyd’s neck. The event led to a rise of the Black Matter movement and violent protests began taking place across the nation. The events led to a great deal of political tension and as Chris Jaycox, class of 2021 from Cape Henry describes how “ the George Floyd incident caused a lot of political polarization and has divided much of our nation.” Jaycox went on to describe how he felt that the “George Floyd incident caused the nation to come to a point of political chaos that I have never seen before.” Almost all of America can agree that the event was a horrible action that should not have happened in this nation, however many people also wish it did not happen just because of how much chaos it has caused. When McGruder was asked about an event he wished did not happen in 2020, he replied with the following statement. “I wish that the George Floyd incident would not have happened, because I feel like no man deserves to die like that, and I also feel that the nation would be less divided if that event could have been prevented.” The end of the chaos of 2020 did not end here though.

To continue with the theme of chaos, another event that filled 2020 was the widespread outbreak of fires, threatening the lives of millions. In September of 2020, a gender reveal party accidentally sparked one of the worst wildfires the state of California has seen. Many citizens were forced to leave their California residencies as the fire consumed over 200,000 acres of land. It has been reported by The Guardian that the fire resulted in the death of 31 people and destroyed over 10,000 buildings. It was hard to see an American state suffer like that and as Chris Jaycox described, “it was an event that you see in movies, it is a catastrophic event.” The fires of 2020 related right back to the theme of chaos, but 2020 was not over yet.

It would only be fair to end the year with some political chaos, the 2020 election. As 2020 came to a close, the election between Joe Biden and President Trump caused increased political tension as the election was speculated to be fraudulent in many states. Republicans and Democrats went back and forth with each other with different accusations regarding the election, and as Jaycox explained, “it would only make sense that this type of election would happen in 2020.” Ultimately it was ruled that Joe Biden would be the next President; however, there still exist a lot of people that believe it was an illegitimate election.

From Coronavirus to forest fires, 2020 never gave America a break. It is undisputed that this was a horrible year for everyone who had to experience it. However, at the end of the day, 2020 is in the past, and 2021 is among us. As we look forward to a new year, students such as McGruder describe how “with the Vaccine coming out, I am hopeful that 2021 will be a better year.” Other students also share the same beliefs as McGruder and are looking forward to what the future of 2021 brings.