2020’s Good News: What Changed for the Better This Year?

Despite the general belief that the year 2020 brought us nothing but plight and misery, it wouldn’t be a waste of time to devote a few lines to the good things that happened this year. Environmental revival, eCommerce blooming, people getting engaged in politics – this cloud surely does have its silver lining.

As we all know from countless recap articles and more than a handful of memes on social media, 2020 has certainly not been the best year, full of good news.

Pointing out all the bad things that happened would be, indeed, pointless, for all of them have become part and parcel of our daily lives in this new reality.

Yet, going against the pessimistic trend and in an attempt to counter the widespread tendency to focus on what’s gone wrong, let’s revise what changed for the better in 2020.

Of course, this is not to undermine the gravity of the issues we had to face this year – from natural calamities and wildfires, through a global pandemic, to political polarisation, alongside all the related problems that emerged on the way. But not all’s lost – here’s the good news from 2020 (just so you know they happened too).



Group of protesters

On the one hand, protests aren’t something to be particularly happy about, for they are the yardstick of a government’s disfunction.

However, on the other, they constitute for the people’s incredible ability to organise themselves in a collective cause to push for political changes and express their discontent to fight for a better future together.

In 2020, we could witness demonstrations in the name of climate justice, against racial prejudice and police brutality, abortion bans, lockdowns and restrictions, US election results protests, large manifestations against Amazon’s exploitation of workers, and discontent about the government in Hong Kong.

The list is long, and surely there have been more events like this, on occasions taking place in the virtual space.

Whatever your political beliefs and opinions, when people engage in political issues – especially amidst a global health crisis, undiscouraged – it’s a sign of theses clashing with antithesis, a harbinger of progress and change.

To build a better future we should all get involved in it and try to find our way through the disagreements and debates. Undeniably, protesting is an inextricable part of this complex process.


NGO Action

A global mobilisation was called for in the face of the 2020 disasters we’ve all heard about in the news media. By introducing restrictions and lockdowns, the governments put huge emphasis on the struggle against COVID-19 with a vast veneer of actions.

Common sense has it, nevertheless, that there are certain areas where governments are rather inefficient: can’t or don’t want to engage. That’s where NGOs step in.

No doubt, non-governmental organisations had their hands full and their shoulders heavy in 2020, trying to alleviate extreme poverty, spread healthcare access universally, and amend the damage done by the plentiful natural disasters connected to climate change.

Their involvement and the volunteers’ willingness to make a change – not despite but because the times are hard – is as hopeful a phenomenon as it gets.


Lockdown Reflections

Staying at home reflecting

Simultaneously with all the disturbances caused by quarantine – separation from friends and family members, a new scheme of teaching and working, and so on – there are some merits of isolating yourself for the time being.

Having a moment of peace for yourself can help you figure out some of life’s conundrums that are pushed into the background in day-to-day life.

Taking up new hobbies and reviving long-forgotten pastimes, learning to manage one’s time, and setting up new goals – surveys show that plenty of people have changed their lives for the better during the COVID-19 quarantine.


Nature Revived

Traffic Director

As humans were absent from the streets of cities and towns, most – if not all – of us stuck at home, focused on home-office work etiquette and home schooling, our animal friends took over the streets.

There has been a myriad of reports regarding animal sightings in the second quarter of 2020 across the whole globe, where municipal areas are by no means a rare occurrence.

We could see lions sunbathing on the tarmac in South Africa, a group of deer in Nara Park, Japan, or sea lions in the Argentinian city of Mar de Plata.

Not only in the streets, quarantine gave our environment a break from pollution. Yet, fewer flights and an impasse in the everyday transportation are just one part of a puzzle.

This restoration of nature was one of the by-products of the economy slowing down, while a plethora of misplaced masks found themselves discarded in the Chinese coastal seas.

Yes, quarantine showed us that – if need be – we can cease to contribute to air and planet pollution, yet transforming the structure of our society to address climate change and ecological collapse will take more effort. Besides – we can’t stay at home forever, can we?


Innovative Business

It’s no secret that many an entrepreneur has fallen out of business due to how suddenly the pandemic changed our lives. Nevertheless, where one business goes down, another fills the void and pops up.

Hence, food and grocery delivering companies, online platforms, and non-physical shops have – among many others – flourished in these strange times as a fair share of the economic flow moved online.

E-Commerce and innovative ideas that are just tailored to the on-going situation are certain to thrive in the times of a global pandemic.


Every Cloud…

Though you might have made up your mind already about how terrible this past year has been – as it is likely to remain in our minds – acknowledging the good things that happened this year may give you hope for the upcoming new year.

Political engagement, a decrease in pollution, changes in your personal life – even 2020 has got its good news and its silver lining.

Photos: Shutterstock

Here are some more people trying to create good news in 2020…

Generation Climate Europe: Representing 20 Million Young Europeans and Tackling Climate Change

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