Let us take a step back and highlight some of the major events of 2020 thus far;
- The death of Qasem Soleimani the Iranian general in an US drone strike. This happened on January 3rd.
- Iran retaliates and in doing so, they accidentally crash a commercial plane carrying Canadians and nationals from a host of other countries.
- Britain leaves the European Union officially
All these happened in January alone. February would confirm the fears of every one about the novel coronavirus as it spread rather quickly from Asia through Europe and by March had started killing people in their hundreds daily especially in Italy, Spain and the UK. Things would get much worse.
Jobs were lost in record numbers, the whole world’s economy plunged into a recession and all these were further worsened by the bushfires in Australia that destroyed over 18.9 million square kilometres and the West Coast of the USA, locust invasion in East Africa, the shooting of George Floyd which led to a series of riots that ensured the USA suffered a breakdown of law and order for weeks.
In Nigeria, the extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians by officers of the Nigerian Police Force initiated the #EndSARS movement which culminated in a bloodbath as Nigerian Army officers shot into a crowd of peaceful protesters on the night of 20th October.
Extreme weather events have also happened this year, The Americas especially Central America and states on the east coast of the United States were badly hit by a series of hurricanes in the spring of 2020.
While it is normal to look back at this year and associate it with the many unfortunate events that happened, it should also be noted that many of the events that happened in 2020 only manifested in 2020; they have been in the making in the weeks, months and even years leading up to 2020. The year 2020 only played host to a culmination of events that had been brewing in the previous periods.
Soleimani was killed on the third of January but the plan to take him out had been in the pipeline for years before the decision was taken. The coronavirus actually became a thing as early as November 2019, it was just waiting to be transmitted worldwide. The feeling of injustice that African Americans experience has been there for decades. George Floyd was not the first black man to be killed in such a manner. His death was the trigger for the American community to rise up and try to put a stop to the systemic racism that has pervaded the American society.
The bushfires in California and Australia have become an annual event, so is the yearly incidences of extreme weather events in the form of hurricanes and typhoons. Climate change has been a major environmental issue for decades, what we are seeing today is a blowback from the all the damage we have done to the atmosphere over the past century. Brexit actually happened in 2016 and this year was always going to be the year it is made official.
In Africa, the climate once again is responsible for the locusts paying us a visit and destroying farm crops. The #EndSARS protests were a culmination of acts of injustice by the law enforcement agencies on the civilians. It is worthy of note that the hashtag was actually created in 2017, not much improved between then and 2020 and the people rose again.
The aim of this article is to remind the readers that while 2020 appears guilty of the numerous unpleasant events that happened to the planet during its tenure, we should not forget that 2020 was nothing more than a year of actualization. The actualization of the repercussions of our actions and inactions over the years before it. 2020 came to remind us that actions (and inactions) have consequences.
2020 is not guilty of being a bad year, humanity is guilty of making bad decisions.
As we look forward to 2021 and the subsequent years, it is important that we are forward thinking in our decision-making today as if we continue to act as irresponsibly as we have over the past years; if we continue to kick the can down the road, we would only be setting ourselves up for more years with 2020 written all over them.