In a year with so many tumultuous moments, it’s easy to forget the ones that made us smile.
2020 was – how do we put this..not ideal. And with so many moments that made us think we may have actually entered the Twilight Zone, it can be hard to remember all the good (or even just regular) things that happened. Here’s a year in review in remembrance of some of the moments that gave us some much needed comic relief and ones that just made us smile.
1. We saw the planet heal a little bit during lockdown, and the animals had a ball
— manishkumar (@manishkumar457) March 23, 2020
Yes, lockdown was a bummer. But it only took a few weeks for the world to start seeing some extraordinary changes in nature. Air pollution subsided, rivers and canals became cleaner, and we even saw animals exploring cities around the world!
ADORABLE! Some penguins and beluga whales got the chance to visit at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium!
Video: ©Shedd Aquarium/Lana Gonzalez pic.twitter.com/wu9lu1Os6c
— WNDU (@WNDU) March 31, 2020
Deer openly roamed through towns in Japan and Poland, goats took over a town in Wales, and wild pigs took to the streets of Paris. San Francisco even spotted coyotes hanging around the city! And who could forget these penguins that visited all the other animals at The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago?
2. DoggFace gave us vibes in a legendary TikTok
Nathan Apodaca, forever known as DoggFace, posted a video on TikTok earlier this year that instantly went viral. In a mere 7 hours, we had already seen 2020’s favorite TikTok user sing along with Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ 2.3 million times.
DoggFace’s cruise down the street on his longboard with a giant Oceanspray Cran-Raspberry juice will never be forgotten. It was just the right amount of random to put a huge smile on all our faces in the midst of a pretty depressing time, and now there’s even a mural in San Francisco neighborhood Lower Haight to immortalize the moment!
3. People got extraordinarily creative
The pandemic put a real damper on fun this year, cancelling a lot of our favorite shows and events. But art finds a way, and this year people really started thinking outside the box! Our favorite example is this incredible bubble concert that the Flaming Lips had in Oklahoma City in October. Each person was socially distanced in their own personal bubble, making for an epic rock’n’roll show.
Since I wrote about making a candy chute for Halloween, I've gotten a few reader notes saying people are making them. One of the best has come from Michael Episcope, who's letting me share his pictures of a 36-foot-long chute, in construction and finished. https://t.co/0frcVaTr5V pic.twitter.com/qlGQ0TbBMK
— Liam T.A. Ford (@ltaford) October 27, 2020
We saw plenty of examples in our communities as well! At Halloween, households across the nation came up with ingenious ways to safely deliver candy. Using everything from PVC pipes and robots to canons to make sure their trick-or-treaters got their loot.
4. Drive-ins made a comeback
This year forced drive-ins out of near retirement, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. While drive-ins were never completely gone, 2020 brought them back in a major way. And it wasn’t just movies! Lots of shows and concerts shifted over to drive-in formats, giving us a whole new way to experience live performances.
Once the holiday season began, we also saw drive-thru light events pop up all over, giving us all many more options to safely celebrate the season.
5. We got some much needed comic relief during election season
The fly quickly gained celebrity status. By the end of the night, it had its own Twitter account with 50,000 followers https://t.co/ekglFCCGFs
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 8, 2020
Election season seemed to last decades, and by the time the debates rolled around we were all exhausted. The nation was ready for a distraction, and we certainly got one: a fly. This time, however, the fly skipped the wall and went straight for Vice President Mike Pence’s head.
That fly was just vibin up there pic.twitter.com/XfvexBZEbL
— adam.the.creator (@AdamPadilla) October 8, 2020
It must have been pretty comfortable because the fly stayed there for two full minutes, which was more than enough time for Twitter to erupt. However silly, this viral fly got more attention than the candidates in the debate, giving us all a giggle and some much needed comic relief.
6. Frontline essential workers were recognized for their selfless support
If anyone this year needed an extra boost, it’s the many workers that have been on the front lines of the pandemic. A little gesture goes a long way, and people across the nation showed their appreciation in many ways throughout the year. We saw everything from giant glowing hearts on the facades of hotels to free coffees and mass applauses for frontline workers.
7. We saw some stunning celestial light shows
Christmas week: Worlds will align for a spectacular heavenly sight – Jupiter & Saturn will look like a double planet for first time since the Middle Ages. https://t.co/EWWqsdVm6r pic.twitter.com/anpO5LIVcN
— UEA Physics (@UEAPhysics) December 14, 2020
2020 gave us some star shows of epic proportions. Hundreds of shooting stars grazed the night skies in the Orionid, Leonid and Geminid meteor showers this fall, and we even got an actual Blue Moon this Halloween for the first time in two decades.
Just this week, the sky revealed an astronomical event that hasn’t happened in nearly 800 years, as Jupiter and Saturn came extremely close together to form the ‘Great Conjunction’ (also known as the ‘Christmas Star’).
8. Record numbers of people exercised their right to vote
Joe Biden breaks Obama's record for most votes ever cast for a U.S. presidential candidate https://t.co/2YtZq4Zpa5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 5, 2020
The U.S. saw a massive increase in voter turnout this election season. Two-thirds of the population got out (or mailed in) to vote for the next president, among many other local seats, bills and amendments. It was the biggest voter turnout in 120 years, largely attributed to the new mail-in ballots and extended voting periods.
Joe Biden now holds the record for the highest number of votes received in a United States presidential election, with well over 81 million votes, breaking the previous record of 69,498,516 votes.
9. We saw more diversity in politics
JUST IN: Kamala Harris becomes be the first woman ever to be elected vice president or to be part of a winning presidential ticket. She will also be the first Black person and first Asian American to be vice president. https://t.co/mRLwcac4RM
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) November 7, 2020
Voter turnout wasn’t the only record this year. We also saw Kamala Harris become the first woman and first woman of color to be elected Vice President of the U.S. Not long after, Harris also became the first-ever vice president-elect to be named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, alongside President-elect Biden.
Justice Martin J. Jenkins has been unanimously confirmed to the CA Supreme Court. After more than 30 years of service as a state & federal judge, Justice Jenkins makes history as the first openly gay justice and the third African American man to serve on the state high court. pic.twitter.com/KoNVaT8ffH
— California Supreme Court (@CaSupremeCourt) November 10, 2020
Local elections all across the country saw other examples of added representation in politics. More young people became representatives in Congress, like Sara Jacobs in San Diego‘s 53rd Congressional District. San Diego also elected Todd Gloria as mayor, marking the first time the county has elected a mayor who is a member of both the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities.
In California, Martin Jenkins became the first openly gay (and only the third African American) Supreme Court Justice to the state. L.A. County is another example, having elected an all-women Board of Supervisors for the first time in 168 years.
10. We saw many examples of heartwarming solidarity
Thank you Ayudando Latinos A Soñar in Half Moon Bay for providing face masks to people in the community! Battalion Chief David Cosgrave gives his thumbs up. pic.twitter.com/qfYSTImcIQ
— CAL FIRE CZU (@CALFIRECZU) April 25, 2020
This year, solidarity was more important than ever, and our communities really stepped up to the plate. People contributed to their communities in many ways, from sewing homemade masks and distributing them free to essential workers, to many who went the extra mile to support struggling local businesses. Many musicians also joined in, providing virtual concerts in order to emphasize the power of community and to uplift everyone’s spirits.
Have a positive 2020 moment you would like to add? Let us know!
[Featured image: Unsplash]