By Haniya Ghazi //
March is here, and that means it has been a year since lockdown began and our lives were altered due to the pandemic. While it’s easy to only remember the chaos, tragedy, and life-altering changes that occurred over the past year, it is important not to forget that positive events happened as well. Here are some positive things that happened over the past year that might lift our spirits while the light at the end of the tunnel nears.
- Two astronauts were launched into space.
On May 20, 2020, SpaceX rocket launched two Americans into space for the first time in over 10 years. Not only was this an amazing event in NASA’s history but also a huge day for our country in general.
- Hundreds of people came together to protest police violence and racial injustices.
While this year brought heartbreakingly high numbers of police brutality, these events brought forth a movement in which people from all backgrounds came together to protest and fight against these injustices. With George Floyd’s death, dozens of cities across America held peaceful and incredibly impactful protests. Black Lives Matter extended to cities in other countries as well, and these movements are sure to be talked about for years to come, as there is still plenty of work to be done.
- There was a record drop in carbon emissions globally.
The pandemic brought about more issues than positives. However, it did allow for carbon emissions to drop exponentially. Emissions fell by 2.4 billion tons in the last year. With millions of people staying inside and the decreased use of cars and other forms of transportation, we contributed to making our environment a little bit cleaner this year.
- A new president was voted in by a historic number of voters.
This year, we had the most voters for a presidential election in over 120 years. Two-thirds of eligible voters in America voted this election, which is an amazing turnout. Hopefully this translates to a more unified and better country for the next few years!
- The number of women of color who were elected reached an all-time high.
Around 50 women of color and some of those in the LGBTQ+ community were voted in to serve in Congress. This represents a true win for women and minorities alike. This sets a promising precedent for a future with more and more women in higher positions.
- The COVID-19 vaccine was released.
And lastly, a piece of good news that everyone was itching to hear was the innovation of the COVID-19 vaccine. With incredible scientists and doctors, this vaccine was created and introduced to the public incredibly quickly. As of now, the Pfizer and Moderna double-dose vaccines are over 90% effective, and millions have been vaccinated. Just recently, Johnson and Johnson announced its one-shot vaccine that will begin distribution soon. This positive news from last year is one of the best and reminds us there is a light at the end of the tunnel.