Looking Back at 2020, on the Threshold of 2021

by Olga Meserman


December 14, 2020

It’s 2040, and you’re sitting at a hard wooden desk. Your history teacher tells you to take out your textbook and flip to chapter seven, entitled “The 2020s.” The teacher asks, “What does everyone know about this decade?” No one responds. “Let’s start on the first section then. Please read the first page silently — it’s a summary.” You stare at the page and start to read, noticing words such as “wildfire,” “pandemic,” “George Floyd,” and “election.” Someone calls out, “That’s a lot to happen in one decade.” Your teacher responds, “Those were just a few events that took place in 2020.”

2020 has been a rollercoaster of events. Years from now, when textbooks are written and primary evidence is observed, 2020 will be just another year in history. But to everyone who lived through it, it was more than simply that. A gender reveal party thrown in the California wildfire season sparked an inferno throughout the state, giving it the title of worst air quality in the world. Politics became more crucial than ever before, with people’s lives depending on the policies of the next president of America. Hundreds of thousands of people died in a global pandemic that still ravages through the United States and the world. However horrible these events are, there are still some silver linings to be found in 2020, according to the BUA community. “People are coming together, feeling more united, which we can see in the marches for Black Lives Matter and the expressions of gratitude for front-line workers,” says Anais Kim ‘24. An enormous civil rights movement spread throughout the country as people rallied together to spread awareness on racial inequality. Jovanah Noelsaint ‘24 has another take on the situation. She believes that quarantine may not have been so bad: “Because of quarantine, there’s more time to reflect, specifically more time to reflect on injustices [that you and your family have faced].” Reflections such as the ones that Jovanah describes have prompted discussion throughout America. 

With the coming of 2021, though some are expecting the worst, many are simultaneously hoping for a better year. On her hopes for the future, Madison Ho ‘24 says, “In 2021, I’m excited to [see] the changes our nation can make to combat issues such as systemic racism, climate change, and economic inequality.” A year filled with positive change would be welcome after such a grim and tumultuous one. What will the next chapter in the history book of the future look like?

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