We are 8 months into 2020 and it seems that this year has been a total disaster so far. With deadly fires, volcano eruptions, massive protests and a global pandemic, this year made us wonder if this is how the end of the world looks like.
While the rest of the world was doing the New Year’s resolutions, Australia was facing a natural disaster. Starting in November 2019, the bushfires that spread on an area of about 25.5 million acres, ended up shaking the entire population. The fire caused a massive amount of smoke. On January 1st Australia recorded the highest level of pollution ever – 23 times more than what is considered “hazardous”. It was so bad that it even reached New Zealand, 1.000 miles away and NASA were able to capture it from space.
The catastrophe destroyed around 3000 homes and killed over 30 people. However, the Australian wildlife suffered the most. Over billion mammals, birds, and reptiles lost their lives.
As in every bad situation there is always a good side, many celebrities like Pink, Elton John and Kylie Minogue donated to help recover what it could be recovered.
On January 12, after 43 years, the Taal volcano on the island of Luzon, Philippines erupted again. The eruption spread the ashes on a radius of 14 kilometers. It destoyed people’s homes, leaving them without water or electricity. Over 70,000 people had sought shelter in 300 temporary evacuation centers. The aftermath of the eruption looks like the end of the world, transforming the tropical landscapes of Philippines into grey, lifeless views.
Shortly after these two natural disasters, the world lost a great personality. Kobe Bryant, one of the most popular sports figures, died in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter and all the people on board. Both fans and celebrities mourned Bryant’s death.
Even though news about the virus spread around the world in the late 2019, the matters became serious around February 2020. Doctors and scientists realized how fast the Wuhan virus spreads and declared a state of emergency. The original Chinese town of Wuhan was the first to isolate. At the time, pictures of the empty streets of Wuhan dimmed social media, making people understand the severity of the matter. Then, one by one, European countries and United States locked down. The aftermath was disastrous as the economy was destroyed. Now, after thousands of people died and many more lost their jobs, the population fears a serious economic crisis.
In the middle of a global pandemic, a threat of a possible World War 3 was all that people were missing. After US President Donald Trump ordered the death of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran promised “revenge”. Knowing how dangerous Iran is and having terrorism in mind, the world had reasons to fear a war. Iranian forces ordering a missile attack only made matters worse.Two Iraq air bases, which hosted US troops, suffered damage. Representatives on the streets and in Parliament were chanting “death to America”, confirming population’s reason to fear.
George Floyd is a name that will remain in history. A black man carelessly killed by a white police officer was a serious reason to reignite the ongoing war between civilians and police, especially when the civilians are black. Protesters, of all ages and races, spread all over America, asking for justice. Photographs depict an impressive solidarity and rage. People chanted the names of black people who faced police brutality in more than 2000 of U.S. cities and towns.
The latest catastrophe that happened so far is the Beirut explosion. On August 4th, a live video of a massive explosion that took place in Beirut went viral. The cause is most likely due to a fire in the proximity of 2.750 tons of ammonium nitrate. Now, a week after the event, the reports show least 220 people killed, more than 6,000 wounded and approximately 300,000 homeless.
With all these disasters in only 8 months, I wonder what 2020 has in store for us. Is this really the end of the world? What will happen next? And, most importantly, is there any hope left, will anything be normal again?