Eulogy for 2020
Maya Anandan and Sanna Patel
You can listen to the eulogy here, or read it below
Today, we’d like to honor the year 2020. The events that occurred, memories that were made, and tears that were shed will never be forgotten. This being said, let us acknowledge how relieved we are that it is FINALLY coming to an end. From wildfires to praised celebrities passing to the coronavirus pandemic, we have fought through thick and thin to survive this never-ending year. But today is not about what we’ve done, it is about what 2020 has done to us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride… (or don’t, that’s probably really challenging).
The chaos began in December of 2019, when an unknown virus started to infect the city of Wuhan, China. This virus then spread to different parts of Asia, and was soon to be named COVID-19. However, all of that comes later; we still have January!
This is where 2020 first let us down, and yes, I’m aware it’s the first month. I’m sure 2020 never wanted this for anyone, but the world was left in shock when news broke about the terrible helicopter accident that took Kobe and Gigi Bryant from this world. Though this year took a lot of people, these two were particularly painful and their impact will never be forgotten. On top of that, there were still raging bushfires in Australia which impacted not only the peoples’ lives but also the wildlife and animals that couldn’t escape. 2020 started off horribly, and I think we all knew it was just going to get worse.
Unlike January, February was quite uneventful. It almost felt like everything was going to be okay. Looking back, the 28 –whoops sorry, 29 – days were some of the last joyful days of the school year, spent on campus. We were completely unaware and ignorant of the fact that we were about to undergo a nationwide lockdown, and our last few weeks of freedom were, unfortunately, taken for granted. Wow, thanks for the warning, 2020. Although 90% uneventful, February wasn’t all bores and snores: President Donald Trump’s impeachment was acquitted by the Senate on the 5th, leaving half the American population extremely disappointed, and the other half jumping with joy.
2020 turned us from ‘New Year, New Me’, to ‘New Year, Depressed Me’ real fast and I’m convinced this all started in March. I mean, I know 2020 was pretty bad before, but you really can’t compete with shutting down the whole world. Anyway, you could really tell we didn’t know what was coming when we were actually excited about the lockdown. We were all “yay, no school!”, but what we were really going into was an unending lockdown in which we wouldn’t see anybody–– outside a very small circle of people–– for eight. straight. months. Obviously, we were a lot more inspired to be productive with all the extra time we had, one of the few positives 2020 gave us. This resulted in a lot of new trends. Bread-making was so big, you literally couldn’t find flour in some grocery stores in the US, but at least everyone’s kitchen smelled like yeast! There was also Dalgona coffee which, if anything, gave people a decent arm workout. March was definitely a ride, but that was just the beginning of what 2020 had to offer.
During the month of April, both tie-dye, as well as baking banana bread, became quite popular amongst the Gen Z community, due to induced boredom and 2020’s insane desire to keep us locked up at home. Backyards would be covered in tulip-dye powder, and trash cans would be brown-banana-free! I am sure this put smiles on your parents’ faces; only until they realized you almost burned down the entire house… Besides this, we were also advised to inject disinfectant into our bodies to help save us from the coronavirus, but most decided against that… thankfully.
May 2020 hit it off with a big, nuclear bang! Kim Jong Un, the president of North Korea, reappeared after going AWOL for 3 full weeks. After photographs were released of him in Sunchon, opening a fertilizer plant, the world was finally able to exhale that breath they didn't realize they were holding. We also had the wonderful murder hornets join the fun, potentially causing an end to the entire bee population, hence ending life on earth. Thanks, hornets. Thanks, 2020.
June was probably the most important month of the year following George Floyd’s death at the end of May, as the Black Lives Matter movement gained traction all over the world. Social media was changed for the better, being used to spread awareness and information about police brutality, human rights, BLM, and so much more. 2020 gave us the rude awakening we all needed, and for that, we should be forever grateful. This being said, justice has still not been served for the hundreds of people who died unfairly at the hands of police, based purely on a snap judgment fueled by the racism ingrained into today’s society. We hope that if you take anything out of this year, it’s to always fight for what’s right and treat everyone with equality and the respect they deserve.
Ahhh.. July, our last month of freedom. Summer was by no means as exhilarating or enthralling as it usually is, but sleeping in and binge-watching Netflix was not all bad. Towards the end of the month, kids started to pull out their backpacks, pencil-cases, and masks, thinking that we would be back in school the next month. Sike… I guess 2020 just wasn't ready for us yet. On top of that, we also had the unfortunate and unexpected death of the infamous GLEE star, Naya Rivera. Her passing hit many close to home since she was such an inspirational, talented young woman.
The past couple of months have been pretty depressing, but that’s kind of what we’ve come to expect out of 2020, and August wasn’t an exception. At the top of August, news of a massive, highly destructive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon shook the world. There were 203 deaths, and 300,000 people lost their homes. The Beirut Blast left the ‘Paris of the Middle East’ in ruins, caused by tons of unsafely stored explosive materials that were set off by a fire in a port warehouse. Other than that, AES began online school, and I think it’s safe to say everyone was excited to see their friends, even if it was just through their computers. By the end of the month, we had let ourselves get our hopes up. Remember when we thought going back to real school early this semester was a possibility? Yeah, we were wrong.
From breaking gender barriers in Togo to being let down about school reopening, September was a fast-paced month for all. President Faure Gnassingbe appointed Togo’s very first female prime minister, Victoire Tomegah Dogbe. This was a win for the female representation in government as well as the world, seeing as yet another powerful, independent woman was elected for leadership. On a more unfortunate note, the High School students of AES felt greatly betrayed after being told that school was finally going to reopen after a long, 6-month wait, only to have our hopes dashed by the announcement of indefinite postponement.
And now we’re here in October. The US Presidential Election is in full swing, though you readers probably already know the results. Unprecedented (and more than a little unpresidential) debates have been the talk of the town. With only weeks away from the election, nerves have been running high with the uncertainty surrounding it, but urges to vote have been higher than ever, and we can’t help but agree. We hope you all voted if you could, and this 2020 presidential election has been crazier than any, but what’s new? It’s 2020.
So all we really have to say is,
let's all pray to Timothee Chalamet,
that 2021 will be okay.
Rest In Pieces, 2020. You won’t be missed.