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 Testing
Source: The Week

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. 

Migrant crisis in India
Source: Quartz (originally clicked for Reuters)

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. 

migrant crisis in India
Source: Newsclick

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.

Cyclone Amphan
Source: India Today (photo provided by PTI)
Cyclone Amphan
Source: Zee Biz (Photo by PTI)
Cyclone Amphan
Source: Twitter/FFFinBD

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.  

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 explosion
Source: AP (Hassan Ammar)

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. 

Jakarta Flash Floods
Source: NST (photo by AFP)

8. In February 2020, Delhi witnessed one of the worst riots in recent history, as people clashed over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act.

Delhi Riots
Source: India Today

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. 

A PIA flight, with over 100 passengers and crew members, crashed into a residential area near Karachi airport. In the aftermath, 97 people were reported dead. 

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. 

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. 

Black Lives Matter
Source: CNN

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. 

Black Lives Matter
Source: The Guardian
Black Lives Matter
Source: Al Jazeera

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. 

Oil Spill
Source: BBC

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. 

Internet Ban in Kashmir
Source: ET

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. 

Assam Floods
Source: Indian Express
Assam Floods
Source: Times Now

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.