A brief timeline of one of the wildest years we’ve experienced in recent times.
By Ashima Sethi
- Hong Kong protests continue with over 1 million people participating.
- A State of Emergency is declared in Australia as growing wildfires kill over 500 million animals.
- Tensions rise between the U.S. and Iran after General Qasam Soleimani is killed in a drone strike. People are convinced that Trump is leading the States into another World War.
- Brexit: the United Kingdom formally withdraws from the European Union (EU).
- Megxit: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce they are stepping down as senior members of the British Royal Family.
- NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others are killed in a helicopter crash.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) officially names the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
- Riots break out in parts of Delhi, leading to 53 killed, dozens injured and over 2,000 arrested.
- 2020 Stock Market Crash: the fastest fall in global stock markets in ﬁnancial history and the most severe crash since the Wall Street Crash of 1929.
- A mass shooting occurs in Terminal 21 Korat, becoming the deadliest shooting in Thailand’s history.
- Harvey Weinstein is ﬁnally found guilty of sexual assault allegations and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
- Astronaut Christina Koch returns to Earth after 328 days in space, a record for a woman.
- The COVID-19 outbreak is oﬃcially declared a pandemic by the WHO.
- The Summer Olympics and Euro 2020 are postponed. Eurovision 2020 is cancelled for the ﬁrst time in 64 years.
- Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan, India, is commissioned, becoming the largest one in the world (14,000 acres).
- Thailand enters a country-wide lockdown. Interprovincial travel is limited and curfew is employed.
- Netﬂix’s Tiger King and Love is Blind become surprise hits.
- Parasite wins the Academy Award for Best Picture. The ﬁrst for an international feature ﬁlm.
- Reports of the ﬁrst asymptomatic COVID-19 cases emerge from Wuhan, China.
- Netizens freak out after Trump suggests injecting disinfectant and drinking bleach can cure the coronavirus.
- Lockdown leads to the rise of TikTok and viral food trends like dalgona coﬀee, pancake cereal, and cloud bread.
- Bollywood mourns the loss of Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan.
- Hospitals in Thailand begin equipping new-born babies with mini face shields. The photos are so cute that they make global headlines.
- 100-year old Captain Tom Moore raises GBP 30 million for the NHS by completing one hundred 25-metre laps of his garden.
- While Thailand is in lockdown, animal species thrive. Whale sharks are spotted oﬀ the coast of Surat Thani and dugongs are caught on camera at the Hat Chao Mai National Park.
- Clashes between Indian and Chinese forces on the Sino-Indian border escalate.
- Astronomers discover the ﬁrst black hole located in a star system visible to the naked eye.
- Cyclone Amphan hits India and Bangladesh causing over USD 13 billion in damage. The most expensive cyclone recorded in the Indian Ocean.
- George Floyd is murdered by police in Minnesota sparking #BLM protests and mass demonstrations across the country.
- The U.S. COVID-19 death toll passes 100,000. More Americans than those killed in the Vietnam War and Korean War combined.
- Elon Musk and Grimes name their baby, X Æ A-12.
- Crayola launches a box of crayons with diverse skin colours.
- Monkeys steal COVID-19 tests from a health worker in India prompting panic.
- Famous composer Wajid Khan passes away at 43 years old.
- Cyclonic Storm Nisarga hits Mumbai as a category one hurricane, forcing over 100,000 people to evacuate.
- Indian Matchmaking becomes a surprise hit with audiences worldwide. Sushant Singh Rajput’s mysterious death rocks Bollywood, leading to a controversial police investigation.
- The Rao Tiew Duay Gun campaign is launched, boosting domestic tourism.
- Jeﬀ Bezos, CEO of Amazon, makes history as the ﬁrst person to have a net worth exceeding USD 200 billion.
- Beirut is thrown into chaos after an explosion at a seaport that is a tenth of the intensity of the Atomic Bomb.
Hollywood is shocked by the passing of Black Panther (2018) star Chadwick Boseman.
- Trump mispronouncing Thailand as ‘Thighland’ results in viral memes.
- Thai Airways gets creative with their business approach and claim their patongo sales have reached THB 10 million.
- Khao Yai National Park begins sending visitors the rubbish they’ve left behind in a bid to minimise littering.
- The FinCEN Files are released, a collection of 2,657 documents describing 200,000 suspicious transactions across global financial institutions.
- The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) launches a probe into the Bollywood ﬁlm fraternity’s use of drugs. Over 18 celebrities are interrogated.
- Trump is diagnosed with COVID-19 while continuing to deny the dangers of the pandemic.
- Protests in Thailand continue as the Thai Government declares a State of Emergency and media blackout.
- The Geneva Consesus Declaration on Promoting Women’s Health is signed by 34 countries.
- Turkey and Greece are hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
- Global COVID-19 cases surpass 60 million.
- Europe and the UK go back into lockdown amidst threat of a second wave of COVID-19.
- The world is witness to a truly nail-biting U.S. Presidential Election that sees Trump exiting the White House.
- Kamala Harris becomes the first woman ever elected as Vice President.
- Pfizer and BioNTech‘s early data shows COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective.
- The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives is released on Netflix.
- Football superstar Diego Maradona dies of a stroke at the age of 60.
- The UK is hit by a new strain of COVID-19 that’s 50 percent more contagious. This leads to Tier 4 lockdown being introduced and the general population grow angrier and angrier about festive season being cancelled.
- The EU bans flights, ferries and freight from the United Kingdom in the wake of this new mutated form of COVID-19.
- Thailand begins bracing for a second wave as a cluster of over 800 infections are found in Samut Sakhon. Infections have also been detected in seven provinces, including Central Bangkok.
Featured photo courtesy of Gulf News.