Before 2020, we had a fairly different idea about what makes for a bad year. But, in the last eight months, 2020 has proved that it's, quite literally, the worst. Here are some of the worst instances that have happened in less than a year:
1. Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. As of date, it has led to the death of 739,212 people worldwide.
After first being identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, Covid-19 or the novel Coronavirus was declared a pandemic by WHO in March 2020. And, as of August 10, 2020, it has infected over more than 20 million people and led to the death of seven hundred thousand people worldwide.
Covid has put a severe strain on the healthcare infrastructure across developed and developing nation, while severely affecting marginalized communities across the globe.
2. India experienced one of the worst migrant crisis since partition after the countrywide lockdown was announced.
PM Modi announced a countrywide lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19. However, due to various circumstances (including misinformation), this resulted in a nationwide migrant crisis and migrant workers took the long walk home, quite literally, to reach their native villages.
Many died due to the heat, exhaustion, and/or starvation. Several households have been left with no earnings, little to no savings, and no income opportunities.
3. West Bengal-Odisha and Bangladesh ravaged by cyclone Amphan, leading to the death of 128 people (98 in India) and damage over $13.6 bn.
4. Giant 'murder' hornets attacked the USA and Canada.
The 2-inch long 'murder' hornets pose a health hazard because they are predators of honeybees. And multiple stings can kill humans too.
5. Closer home, India suffers through the worst locust attacks in 26 years. Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan are the worst affected states.
Swarms of Locusts enter Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) May 23, 2020
Environment Ministry yesterday said, Locust Swarm from Pakistan have entered Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh threatening major damage to crops.
Report:Vikas Kumar pic.twitter.com/OECWrfCjbL
Climate change is a real threat, day by day we are facing unusual weather conditions, cyclones and have to face threats like locust storms, First of its kind stuck Panna#LocustAttack @mpforestdept @CentralIfs pic.twitter.com/thCSBRvTXy— Panna Tiger Reserve (@PannaTigerResrv) May 24, 2020
6. 2 massive explosions rock Beirut, Lebanon, leading to the death of over 100 people.
Unguarded 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate shipment became the cause of devastating explosions that literally left the entire city shattered, and led to widespread protests over government negligence and mismanagement.
Lebanon determines cause of explosion in Beirut— Revista RDM Los qué todos leen 🇲🇽 (@RdmRevista) August 5, 2020
The Lebanese prime minister revealed that an unguarded 2,750 ton ammonium nitrate shipment was the cause of the explosion in Beirut.
The Governor of Beirut compared today's explosion to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. pic.twitter.com/Zn7g5CScZt
7. Flash floods wrecked Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
On January 1, 2020, Jakarta experienced the worst floods since 2007, due to overnight rains. Reportedly, 60,000 people were displaced, and 66 people died due to the floods.
More than 62,000 people were evacuated from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta after flash floods on New Year’s Day. The death toll has reached 30. pic.twitter.com/CMc1xZOGlM— DW News (@dwnews) January 2, 2020
Flash floods in Indonesia killed at least 9 people, with 19K+ people in shelters around Jakarta. Flood waters reached up to 10ft, trapping some people in their homes.— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 1, 2020
1 death was a teenager electrocuted by a power line, and the city has cut power to prevent more accidents. pic.twitter.com/vBGGTavCZ0
8. In February 2020, Delhi witnessed one of the worst riots in recent history, as people clashed over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act.
In the aftermath of the violence, people have raised concerns over the culprits named by Delhi Police, alleging the police of religious profiling.
9. Air Crash occurred in India, Pakistan, and Iran.
In India, a flight returning from Dubai skidded off the runway, and crashed into the valley in Kozhikode. 18 people, including the pilot and co-pilot, passed away due to the crash.
Shortly after takeoff, a Ukraine flight crashed killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board. Iran admitted that a surface-to-air missile 'unintentionally' shot down the plane.
While #COVID19 is first priority for most countries right now — Ukraine wants to make clear that, despite the pandemic, “Ukraine will in no way allow Iran to escape responsibility for flight #PS752 crash”— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) April 7, 2020
(On Jan 11, Iran admitted its had accidentally shot down the Boeing 737) pic.twitter.com/A3V2Gy0OEj
Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people.— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 11, 2020
Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752
10. US citizens organized protests against racism and police brutality, leading to riots in multiple places, violent police retaliation, and unlawful arrests.
After US citizen George Floyd died due to police brutality, protests emerged across the USA, with people demanding the defunding of police and proper investigation into the case.
The protests gained support on social media under the hashtag of #BlackLivesMatter, but soon, reports of police forcible attacking and arresting non-violent protestors emerged.
11. Volcano Mount Sinabung erupted in Indonesia, firing ash as high as 16,400 feet into the sky. No fatalities have been reported so far, but so much ash was spewed that sunlight was blocked during the day.
12. MV Wakashio, a Japanese-owned ship heading to Brazil and carrying an estimated 4,000 metric tons of oil, ran aground on Mauritius’ southeast coast leading to an oil spill.
The oil spill will have a massive effect on marine life, severely disrupting the ecosystem while simultaneously damaging Mauritius' tourism industry.
13. Jammu and Kashmir marked one year without high-speed internet on August 5, 2020. This is the longest internet ban in a democracy.
After the government abrogated Article 370, revoking the special status provided to J&K, it imposed an internet ban in the state. Months after a complete ban, only 2G services were allowed. This has significantly disrupted the life of students and entrepreneurs, especially during the pandemic and ensuing lockdown.
14. Since May 2020, more than 2.8 million people have been affected by floods in Assam.
Despite the widespread devastation and loss of life, there has been little coverage of Assam in national media.
15. Mumbai experiences the heaviest rainfall in 46 years.
This is, by no account, an exhaustive list of all that has taken place this year. 2020 also marked the continued humanitarian crisis of Yemen, saw the loss of industry stalwarts across the globe, and witnessed an increase in violence against women. Additionally, multiple man-made and natural disasters have occurred in various places across the globe. And there are still four months to go before 2020 ends.