Y’all. It’s almost 2021. So, it must be time to pen the obligatory 2020 year-in-review article, because who doesn’t want to relive the longest, strangest, most depressing year in recent memory?
A Presidential election that stretched on for weeks, possible proof of aliens, and the death of Kobe Bryant. Those are just a few things that happened amidst the fog of a global pandemic that disrupted everyone's lives.
And killed hundreds of thousands in the U.S.
It feels like 10 years worth of stuff happened in the last 12 months. Are you ready for this?
Chapter one: January
When the clock struck 12:01 am, it looked like things might be great. It was the dawn of a new decade! We could all still gather in groups of 10 or more and we finally had a year where those New Year’s Eve glasses kind of looked OK. But it only took a couple of days for things to take a turn:
- The third state of emergency was declared in Australia as wildfires continued to rage across the island continent, killing at least 24 people and hundreds of millions of animals.
- The world found itself in a dangerous place after Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone attack. The internet was convinced that World War 3 could start at any moment.
- Oh yeah, Megxit was a thing too.
- The first U.S. case of coronavirus originating from China was reported in a man in Washington state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- For the third time in U.S. history, The Senate held an impeachment trial for a sitting president.
- This is also about the time when that one really long week happened. Did you experience that too?
- Outside of the US, biblical amounts of locusts invaded parts of Africa and thinking back, it’s probably at this point where we should have had an idea of how the rest of the year was going to go.
- January ended on an extremely sad note when basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his vibrant daughter Gigi were killed in a helicopter crash that stunned the world.
Chapter two: February
January was rough. But it’s better to get the bad part of the year out of the way early, right? Things seemed to look up when everyone’s favorite groundhog predicted an early spring. So far, so good…
- Katie Sowers became the first female and openly gay person to coach at the Super Bowl.
- The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl and you had the last big gathering at your house before, you know, everything started to go downhill.
- The Iowa caucuses went cauc-eyed. Get it? Because it was kind of a disaster. We did a whole podcast about it. And while this episode is a little dated now, you should subscribe because the Jasons know their stuff. It’s really good.
- President Trump’s impeachment trial ended with a verdict to impeach in the House and acquit in the Senate.
- Ahmaud Arbery was killed by two men while jogging in a south Georgia neighborhood
- Winter Storm Kade slammed into the northeast but more importantly, we as a society decided that we were mostly ok with the Weather Channel naming winter storms. (NOTE: Official weather authorities are still not on-board with this.)
- The Oscars were a thing that happened this year, but we all know the best award show is the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The biggest controversy of awards season was when Siba, a standard poodle (and total chicken-eating diva) stole the '"Best In Show" title from an adorable golden retriever named Daniel.
Chapter three: March
March was the time where 2020 started to feel like it wasn’t messing around. Coronavirus numbers started to climb and the pandemic started to become real for a lot of people. (And not so real to some others, but this isn’t that kind of article so don’t @ me.)
- Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of third-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault.
- Breonna Taylor is killed by Louisville police.
- A failed building demolition sparks a national sensation. For two weeks, The Leaning Tower of Dallas captured our hearts and minds. Like watching the movie "Titanic," we all knew it would go down eventually, but hated to see it go.
- The Dow free falls like a Tom Petty song and experiences the largest single-day point drop in its history losing more than 2000 points.
- We lost our collective minds and bought all the toilet paper. So much so, it basically became currency. We were inches away from converting to a barter economy.
- Gov. Abbott issues a stay-at-home order but refuses to call it a stay-at-home order. Schools, bars, and dine-in restaurants are closed. BONUS: comment sections everywhere fill up with people arguing about who's "essential" and who isn't.
This tweet might sum up March the best:
Chapter four: April
If there was a time this year when we sort of made a collective effort to quarantine, this was probably it. We all learned how to Zoom and create the perfect sourdough starter. Sweatpants officially became workwear (assuming you still had a job otherwise they were still just a sad metaphor for life).
- We all rallied around exhausted healthcare workers. It was awesome to see s cohesive effort to support those who were helping us heal and keep us going.
- Everyone called the Texas Workforce Commission at the same time. At one point the overwhelmed agency was taking 1.5 million calls a day causing huge backlogs and delays.
- Quibi, an exciting new streaming platform hit everyone’s phone just in time for quarantine and it seemed like a great deal too! For just $5 a month (that you no longer have because you just got laid off) you could watch short videos on your phone WITH ads. What could go wrong?
- Armed protesters went into the Michigan state capital to protest coronavirus restriction orders, test the limits of white privilege.
- If you’re a parent of a school-age child, you discovered that homeschooling is hard and teachers are heroes.
- Those of us who remember post-Katrina gas prices never thought we would see oil prices go negative. For a short time, oil wasn’t worth the barrel it was stored in.
- Governor Abbott began the first phase of his plan to re-open the state economy.
- The Pentagon released video of UFO's and no one cares. Because who has time for aliens in 2020?!
Chapter five: May
When it's all said and done, historians may look back at May 2020 as one of the most pivotal moments in modern U.S. history. The month started with people arguing over government shutdowns, it ended when deep-rooted racial tensions, compounded by the added stress of the pandemic, finally boiled over.
Before we get to the protests though, here are a couple of other things that happened:
In May we were wondering how long this whole quarantine thing might last. People were starting to get restless and understandably nervous about making ends meet.
- Dallas salon owner Shelly Luther was initially sentenced to 7 days in jail and ordered to pay fines for opening her business in defiance of Governor Abbott's executive order in April, but later released.
- Governor Abbott reopened some businesses to limited capacity three days later.
At first, the protests were not really thought all the way out.
- People protested about not being able to work out by...working out.
But then the world changed...
- George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. His death sparked outrage and protests worldwide.
- Here in North Texas, thousands of people showed up to march in protest of police brutality.
Chapter six: June
Protests over police brutality and social injustice spilled into June. The good news was that everyone seemed to be talking and, for just a moment, the conversation about race was elevated.
- Calls to reform or defund the police became louder as people and lawmakers took a renewed focus on social and racial injustice.
- President Trump made a controversial visit to St. Johns Church in Washington D.C. during demonstrations.
- The NFL admitted they were wrong for not listening to players and for "silencing" players who protested.
Of course, coronavirus was still around and it wasn't slowing down...
- The case numbers were going the wrong way.
- But even so, people started to get really touchy about wearing masks. Lots of cuss words were said.
- Bubba Wallace convinced NASCAR to ban the display of confederate flags at races. Two weeks later, a noose was reportedly seen in his Talladega garage stall. Then the FBI determined the "noose" was a rope pull handle on the stall's garage door and had been there for some time. #Awkward.
- It was blazing hot in Texas, but because 2020 was already in mid-season form, Colorado got snow.
- President Trump held an in-person rally in Tulsa where they expected around a million fans and VIPs like former Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain to show up.
- However, kpop fans and "TikTok teens" (try not to feel old typing those words) trolled the President by reserving tickets to the Tulsa rally only to not show up at the event.
- The Supreme Court ruled to protect gay, lesbian, and transgender people from discrimination in employment.
Chapter seven: July
We made it to the halfway point of the year! There were only six...months...left...
- Kanye decided he wants to run for president. Sure. Why not?
- For a few hours, a British guy and two guys from Florida (always Florida) made everyone think that Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates were scamming for Bitcoin on Twitter.
- Remember when strange seeds started showing up in people's mail? That was weird.
Chapter eight: August
August was upon us. Hurricanes were still churning in the gulf, the pandemic was causing all kinds of parental stress about going back to school and the Democratic primary was wrapping up.
- COVID-19 vaccine trials were underway, finally giving us a glimmer of hope that we might be in the backstretch of this pandemic.
- Hurricane Laura smashed into the Texas/Louisiana border as a category 4 storm killing 25 people and causing billions in damage.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination for president.
- A short time later, he picked Kamala Harris as his running mate.
- Once again, 2020 proved it was the worst by taking beloved actor Chadwick Boseman. The news was even more stunning when we found out he made his biggest movies while fighting stage 4 colon cancer. Suddenly, saying "Wakanda Forever" meant so much more.
Chapter nine: September
Do you remember, the 21st day in September? No? It wasn't a particularly good day for North Texas sports. The Rangers lost to the Angels. The Dallas Stars lost Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The rest of the month was a little more eventful:
- Speaking of the Dallas Stars, our boys made us proud by taking the Tampa Bay Lightning deep into the Stanley Cup Final, ultimately losing the series 4-2.
- Foo Fighters frontman and Rock icon Dave Grohl got into the cutest drum battle you've ever seen.
- The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg sent shockwaves through the country. And for just a moment, we all seemed to be united in our grief in losing an American Icon.
- Biden and Trump finally met head to head in the first presidential debate and it was...interesting.
- A quirky phenomenon that has emerged in the last several years is the Trump boat parade. Normally, there aren't any issues, however, that wasn't the case for one that took place in Austin. Five boats ended up underwater.
PHOTOS: 'Trump Boat Parade' on Lake Travis
Chapter ten: October
October is the month in Texas where both the weather and the Cowboys lose their minds and decide to somehow be both hot AND cold at the same time. This year was no exception.
- At one point we were tracking a winter storm AND a hurricane. October weather is wild.
- President Trump revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19.
- I'm not sure when 2020 decided that it was going to kill all the talented people in the world, but music lovers mourned the loss of Eddie Van Halen early in the month.
- Legendary actor and arguably the best James Bond Sean Connery died at the age of 90.
- The Cowboys season effectively ended when quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury. (No, we're not posting the picture of his broken ankle. It's gross and we don't have the rights to the image. Here, this one is more hopeful anyway.)
- The vice presidential debate was won by a fly, according to Twitter.
- Quibi, the streaming service that no one asked for, shut down.
- There was a bit of consternation about voting with the pandemic still in effect but it didn't seem to matter much. Texans turned out in huge numbers to vote early.
Chapter eleven: November
In a year full of long months, November is the league leader. The month was dominated by the neverending roller coaster that was the presidential election process.
- America spoke on Election Day, turning out in huge numbers finally ending our long national robocall nightmare.
- It took a few days, but media organizations finally felt confident enough in vote results to project Joe Biden as the winner.
- President Trump's legal team filed dozens of post-election lawsuits in multiple states in an attempt to reverse the election despite a lack of solid evidence.
- We all knew this one was coming, but it didn't make it any better. Television legend Alex Trebek died after battling cancer.
- Texas crossed a terrible pandemic milestone; 1 million covid cases.
- The iconic Rockefeller Christmas tree showed up in New York City and it was perfect for 2020. Plus it had a stowaway.
- Tons of people had virtual Thanksgiving dinners. Well, the dinners were real, the guests were virtual. It wasn't ideal, but the fact that you could finally mute an annoying family member helped a little.
Chapter twelve: December
We did it, y'all! We made it to December, and you almost made it through this entire article.
- President Trump's legal efforts to fight the results of the election failed. Most post-election lawsuits were dismissed or dropped.
- Country music icon Charley Pride died after a battle with COVID-19. His death came about a month after his last public performance at the CMA Awards where he took home the Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Like the rest of us this year, the Rockefeller tree watched a bunch of DIY beauty videos on YouTube and ended up looking amazing but not everyone was impressed.
- The Electoral College formally chose Joe Biden as the nation’s next president. It should be said that not only will Kamala Harris be the first woman vice president, but also the first Black vice president, the first Asian American vice president, and the first Democratic vice president from the West Coast.
- Hope for beating the pandemic got a major shot in the arm (sorry, couldn't resist) when COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Texas.
So, that's about it for the big stuff. Do you know what else happened this year? Thousands of other things that were important to you and your family. Babies were born. People fell in love. Tons of pets were adopted. Graduations and birthdays were celebrated. We danced in our living rooms and watched every episode of that one show on Netflix. We connected with family and friends in new ways. We mourned those we loved and lost. We learned to appreciate all the people who are “essential” in our lives.
Here’s to a better 2021.
I mean, come on. It HAS to be better, right?