The past year has highly impacted our lives; here's a look back at the nightmare that was 2020.

Over the past year, we have been held hostage thanks to a global pandemic of unprecedented and terrifying proportions. COVID-19 stripped us of our loved ones and created life-altering hardships that will ripple in our psyche for many years to come.

This past year was filled with many history-making events, beginning with a worldwide pandemic that infiltrated everything in our lives, the death of a Supreme Court Justice, a contentious election, and the first Black female vice president ever elected to the White House.

Apart from a global pandemic, our nation was thrust into chaos, thanks to a hotbed of political drama that divided our country leading up to a historic election. Civil unrest also ensued, leading to protests that erupted across the country.

If that wasn’t enough, Mother Nature also unleashed a wake of devastating wildfires and hurricanes around the world.

In a nutshell, the year beat us down hard, but we got through it, so let’s take a deep breath knowing that we can take anything on, no matter what the new year brings.

2020: A Look-Back

COVID-19

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In December 2019, the first case of COVID-19 is identified in Wuhan, China. By March 11, 2020, The World Health Organization declares the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. As of December 2020, over 82 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, and over 1.8 million people have died due to the highly contagious virus.

Rise of The Essential Worker

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Employees at grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and delivery drivers are all recognized as essential workers that keep the wheels of commerce rolling during an ongoing pandemic.

Healthcare Workers

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Healthcare workers become the heroes of the year as the healthcare infrastructure gets hit hard by the pandemic. Hospitals begin to run out of rooms, beds, and space as the numbers of COVID-19 cases begin to multiply. Makeshift hospitals begin to pop up across the country as exhausted first responders, nurses, and medical staff work around the clock, oftentimes putting themselves and their loved ones at risk.

Panic Buying

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News of the novel coronavirus pandemic causes anxiety, and panic buying begins. People across the country begin to stock up on toilet paper, hand wipes, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer leaving store shelves empty and causing a short-chain supply that lasts for weeks.

Masks

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At the onset of the pandemic, there were mixed messages about wearing a mask. Health officials quickly redacted that notion and advised everyone to wear a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Entrepreneurs Step Up

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Once the Centers for Disease Control advises that everyone wear a mask, local entrepreneurs went to work. Overnight, people started making their own masks to sell online and on street corners.

COVID-19 Testing

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Testing sites began to pop up all over the country, as people line up for hours to get tested.

Stay at Home, Lockdowns & Curfews

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In late February stay at home orders begin in China and Italy with lockdowns and curfews set in place across the world to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Quarantine

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Quarantines and social distancing guidelines make it increasingly difficult for family members to gather. These restrictions give way to drive-by celebrations and come up with innovative ways to make contact with others.

Virtual Learning

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Stressed-out mothers, educators, and students scrambled to create virtual classrooms.

Zoom

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Zoom and other video telecommuting services are tapped as millions of employees begin to work from home.

Travel Restrictions

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To help slow the spread of COVID -19, many countries, including the United States, enact travel restrictions.

Events Canceled

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The rampant coronavirus cancels all sports, music, entertainment, and gatherings of any kind across the globe giving rise to socially distanced and virtual events.

Businesses Closing / Economy

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The ongoing pandemic greatly impacts local small businesses as the economy begins to feel the repercussions of the novel coronavirus.

Job Loss

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The economic fallout and shutdowns leave millions of workers without employment, including healthcare coverage.

Food Lines

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As food insecurity becomes a reality for many families, millions of people begin to line up at food banks. According to the country’s largest hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, more than 50 million people will experience food insecurity by the end of this year.

Karens

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During the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, we saw the increase of people known as Karens. The term has been used to describe anyone who acts entitled, racist, sexist, ageist, and anti-woman, and who use their privilege to demand their own way. These protesters begin to rally, protesting social distancing guidelines, shutdowns, mask-wearing, and advocate for schools and businesses to reopen.

West Coast Fires

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Wildfires burned millions of acres across California, Oregon, and other parts of the western US this year, leaving a wake of devastation for many residents. According to scientists, the region's wildfires are the worst in the past 18 years and have been linked to climate change.

Hurricane Season

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While ferocious fires blanketed the West Coast, a historic hurricane season was also brewing. There were so many storms this year that the National Hurricane Center had to move into the Greek alphabet for storm names after using up all the 21 storm names pre-approved for the season by the World Meteorological Organization.

Black Lives Matter

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The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor spark a new wave of nationwide protests under the Black Lives Matter movement creating civil unrest in major cities such as Chicago, Portland, and Minneapolis.

Political Chaos

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Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, political chaos continued to percolate in Washington, D.C., as Trump got impeached, showed his true colors in a disturbing presidential debate, contracted and mismanaged COVID-19, used the military to remove protesters, pushed to rush a new Supreme Court Justice and refused to concede to a presidential election that he lost.

Presidential Election

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The 2020 election saw the highest voter turnout in 12 years, with each presidential nominee receiving more than 74 million votes. Joe Biden ends up setting a record 81 million-plus votes, making for the most votes ever cast for a candidate in a U.S. presidential election. During an already contentious election, Trump and some Republicans attempt to undermine the presidential election results by falsely claiming widespread voter fraud. At the behest of Trump, his team of lawyers files multiple lawsuits, which end getting thrown out of court due to a lack of voter fraud evidence.

First Female Vice President

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After multiple recounts in key states, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are officially named President and Vice-President-elect. Kamala Harris becomes the first Black woman and Indian-American female Vice President-elect ever, breaking the political glass ceiling for many women of color.

Deaths

We also lost many prominent figures during this nightmare year including, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, actor Chadwick Boseman, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, guitar-legend Eddie Van Halen, game show host, Alex Trebek, and many others.

Astronomical Events

This year's Supermoons and planetary events lead to some spectacular sky views including, the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn or Christmas Star. This  Christmas Star is so rare that the last time this planetary phenomenon occurred was back in the Middle Ages, in 1226.

UFOs

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UFOs also made headlines this year as the Pentagon officially released three short videos showing unidentified aerial phenomena. The truth is out there.

Vaccine

In another historic first, vaccine makers across the world raced to create a COVID-19 vaccine. In less than a year, Pfizer and Moderna began to rollout COVID-19 vaccines by December.

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LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020