The 2020 Story: COVID-19, US Presidential Election and Many More.

The world economy is far from where it was in 2019. The economic growth of most of the countries is negative though better than the last quarter. The negative impact of COVID-19 on the financial well being of the countries and masses yet to be dampened. The story of the year 2020, without any doubt, is the story of a disease that caused immense pain to humanity. The COVID-19 pandemic and its effect is the main story of 2020, but some other important events too made the headlines. Some important political events and horrific environmental disasters also took place in 2020. Let’s take a look at some of the significant events of the year 2020, along with COVID-19.

The deadly COVID-19.

The COVID-19 or Coronavirus or CoV-SARS-19 disease not only affected the physical health of billions of humans but their financial health too. The highly contagious nature of this disease took the world by shock. In a matter of a few weeks, it spread from China to the world. Initially, no one in the medical world was able to explain it in proper terms, neither anyone brought out any strategy to stop its spread. By the time lockdowns were brought in place, the COVID-19 was already present in most of the countries. On December 31, 2019, China reported the first case of COVID-19. Initial reports suggested that the pandemic was a result of a live animal market – the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, but the cause is unknown. The WHO Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus announced the outbreak of COVID-19 as a pandemic only after it got spread to 122 countries and caused more than 4500 deaths. The delay by the WHO itself pointed towards the mysterious nature of COVID-19 and its origin. After killing more than 1.25 million people and affecting billions, the COVID-19 pandemic is still far from getting defeated. The hope of the vaccine for COVID-19 is likely to be fulfilled in the first quarter of 2020. The economic cost inflicted by the COVID-19 is huge and needs serious efforts to restore the level to post-COVID-19 times. Various vaccine manufacturers are running human trials, and hopefully, daily life will soon revert to its post-pandemic times.

Unprecedented Lockdowns.

IIn 2020, the world witnessed the biggest lockdown in history. Many times before, the lockdown has been imposed, famously during the spread of Spanish flu in 1918. Many countries implemented lockdowns simultaneously across the globe with strict orders. Some states also introduced monetary penalties as well as jail punishments for the people defying the lockdowns. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown severely impacted the lives of the masses with millions of job losses and a severe financial crisis. According to ILO, working hours fell 14 percent during the second quarter of 2020 – equivalent to the loss of 400 million full-time jobs. The US alone has reported nearly 40 millions job by July 2020. The lockdowns were very cruel for daily wagers and small entrepreneurs. The middle and low-income countries with large employment in the unorganized sector were unable to provide exact data on unemployment.

Image Credits : ILO. The data is published in April 2020.

The US Presidential Election.

The US has elected a new president Joe Biden to lead the country for the next four years. This US election was not only crucial for the people of the US but the whole world. The world has witnessed one of the bitterly fought US Presidential elections and a high-pitched campaign. The world’s most powerful country’s President provides leadership to the whole world, and its policies shape the policies of its allies. The US President not only decides the direction of the US’ policies but the international organization such as UNSC, World Bank, and IMF. The world’s most powerful country’s President provides leadership to the whole world, and its policies shape the policies of its allies. The election results and the data provided below indicate the close fight between the two rivals.

The world is in the process of recovering from COVID-19 induced economic shock. The US and China are two nations that will lead the economic recovery and bring the world economy on track. In the states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona, the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was very close, which highlights the equal support for the policies pitched by both the candidates. Now, the whole world is eager to know the plans and the strategy to be adopted by the new US president for the economic upturn.

US presidential election 2020
Credits: The Guardian

George Floyd Death.

The killing of George Floyd, an unarmed American Black, by a White Police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, led to the riots and protests in the US. The demonstrations were organized across the world against the killing of George Floyd, prominently in the US and Europe, under the movement, Black Lives Matter (BLM). The BLM started on July 13, 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin 17 months earlier in February 2012. The BLM movement highlighted the presence of racism and the unequal treatment of Blacks in these modern societies. The jury is still out on whether the murder of George Floyd was intentional or not. 

The BLM movement addressed the social and economic discrimination of blacks. Racial discrimination against blacks is the main reason for poverty and low education. The income of blacks in the US is way below the overall average income, which leads to their social segregation. It also brought attention to the plights of the blacks of the African continent. The underdevelopment of the resource-rich African continent is due to the lack of black participation in world leadership and unequal treatment of blacks. The graph below shows the average income of different racial groups in the US.

Income difference between different racial groups

The George Floyd incident brought racial discrimination and the requirement of serious efforts by the world community to address it to the fore. The eradication of racism is the way for the economic well being of not only black but society.

Australian Bushfire.

The fire in the Amazon forest last year was of great concern, not only for environmentalists but for the natives of this earth too. This year Australian Bush fire, which is a regular phenomenon, took the shape of an environmental disaster and annihilated 18.6 million hectares of forest and killed 34 people along with a large number of endangered wild animals. The cost of Australian bushfire on the economy is estimated to be $103 Billion by some economists. The smoke of bushfire reached as far as Argentina and depleted the air quality of Australia to hazardous. The Last year’s Amazon forest fire and the uncontrolled Bushfire fire this year are the result of our neglecting behavior towards nature. Only smoke from the Australian bushfire this year added nearly 306 million tonnes of CO2 in the air. The world is already facing climate change, and these incidents only aggravate the situation. Climate change is causing floods and droughts in many parts of the world that leads to losses of billions of dollars. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Climate change could directly cost the world economy $7.9 trillion by mid-century as increased drought, flooding, and crop failures hamper growth and threaten infrastructure. Its high time that the world jointly takes necessary and concrete steps to arrest climate change to save this world from catastrophe.

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