It’s only July. Let that sink in. It’s really only July, and we have all been swept up in a turbulent whirlwind since 2020 began. I’m certain if we knew how long the post-lockdown months would be, and how cornered, we would have built a fort in restaurants and pizza places for 24/7 hangouts so we could enjoy our last bit of freedom before the Coronavirus made its arrival. It seems as if things only keep getting worse every other week, with newer news of people dying, and not only as a result of the virus, but astonishing murders, suicides and accidents. Can we assume 2020 would only be a year of mayhem, or would the following years topple even further downhill? While I can’t take into account every death that occurred every day this year, I made a Calendar of Disasters so you don’t have to.
Ah, the anticipation of the beginning of a new decade, right? Wrong! *cue montage of airplane crashes, volcano eruptions, drone strikes, bushfires and ballistic missiles*
January 2: Iranian General Qasem Soleimani gets killed in US drone strike.
January 7: The World Health Organization is notified of the novel coronavirus in China.
January 8: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce they are stepping down from their duties as senior royals in Buckingham Palace.
January 8: Iran launches ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq, injuring American soldiers.
January 8: A Ukrainian flight crashes in Tehran, Iran, killing all 176 passengers on board.
January 11: China records its first coronavirus death.
January 12: Taal volcano eruption in the Philippines that compelled villages to be excavated and Manila’s international airport and offices to shut down.
January 14: 8.626 million hectares was burnt across all Australian states and territories. Ecologists from The University of Sydney estimated 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles were lost since September 2019. They expressed dread that entire species of plants and animals may have been wiped out by bushfire, later expanded to more than a billion.
January 16: The impeachment trial for President Donald Trump begins.
January 23: The epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak Wuhan, China, goes under an unprecedented lockdown, cornering 11 million residents.
January 24: Earthquakes in Turkey and the Caribbean that killed 41 people
January 26: NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with seven other passengers, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
January 31: The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union.
Just one month into the year and all that distress? Sure, but February wasn’t that bad.
February 5: Trump gets acquitted by the Senate on both articles of impeachment. It was historic day for Trump is the third US president to get impeached and subsequently acquitted. Okay, I guess I was wrong. It’s bad.
February 11: The Coronavirus disease, then known as 2019-nCoV, is named COVID-19 by the WHO.
February 22: Daredevil “Mad” Mike Hughes dies while filming a stunt for an upcoming Science Channel television series. He was an American limousine driver, professed flat-earther, and daredevil known for flying in self-built steam rockets.
February 23: Communal riots in Delhi start on this night that included multiple waves of bloodshed, property destruction, and rioting that killed 53 people, most of whom were Muslims shot, clobbered with repeated blows, or set on fire by Hindu mobs in North East Delhi.
February 24: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is convicted of third-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act, and acquitted of predatory sexual assault.
March was probably the cursed month of this cursed year, if it can be called that, as the coronavirus stats began rising steeply from this month, speaking of which:
March 10: Italy becomes the first country to enforce nationwide lockdown. The following months would not be looking up for Italy either, but I’ll get to the figures later.
March 11: WHO declares coronavirus as a global pandemic. Who thought we’d live a plague in our lifetime? (Pun intended)
March 5: Oh yes, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts drops out of the 2020 US presidential race. She was a representative of the Democratic Party.
March 13: Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers.
March 17: The 100th birthday of the father of our nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The much anticipated celebrations were abated by the social distancing measures.
March 24: The 2020 Summer Olympics, which were supposed to be situated in Tokyo, are postponed until 2021.
The very beginning of April was not desirable at all as:
April 1: Spain records its deadliest day with 950 deaths insofar, exceeding 10,000, as employment falls by 834,000 jobs in 15 days.
April 2: Global coronavirus cases surpass one million all over the world. It might not sound like much in the current circumstances when 13.4 million are affected worldwide. But it was April when the million milestone was reached, and around 51,000 were dead, reported by the Johns Hopkins University.
April 7: The city-wide lockdown in Wuhan, China is lifted after 76 days, while implementing strict measures, including contact tracing and smartphone apps that track movement of citizens and whether they have been close to those infected.
April 8: Senator Bernie Sanders drops out of the 2020 US presidential race, endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee against President Donald Trump.
April 12: Former Bangladeshi Army officer Abdul Majed is executed for his involvement in the 1975 assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
April 18: Hundreds of garment workers rally in Chittagong demanding factory owners to pay them the previous month’s wages.
April 21: Missouri becomes the first U.S. state to file a lawsuit against the Chinese government regarding the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that the government is responsible for the virus’s numerous detrimental impacts on the state’s economy, and that the nation is “hoarding” masks.
April 27: Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern reports no new community transmissions of COVID-19 for the first time since the inception of the pandemic, effectively eliminating the spread of the virus. (Had to include this bit of good news)
April 29: One of Bollywood’s finest actors, Irrfan Khan, dies of a colon infection.
April 30: Another of Bollywood’s most honored legends and winner of several respectable accolades, Rishi Kapoor, dies of leukemia in less than 24 hours after Irrfan Khan.
Five months into 2020 and the situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
May 1: Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau announces a ban on assault weapons, including buying, selling, transporting, importing or using the designated weapons.
May 4: It was reported that giant insects called murder hornets were spotted in the US, especially Washington State. Multiple stings by these hornets could cause death.
May 6: The European Southern Observatory announces the discovery of Earth’s closest-known black hole called HR 6819. The invisible object in the QV Telescopii system apparently has a mass at least four times that of our Sun, and is roughly 1,000 light years (10 quadrillion km) from Earth, situated in the constellation Telescopium.
May 25: George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American man, was ruthlessly killed by a cop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. This racist incident sparked massive public furore against systemic racism deeply ingrained in society, and made Black Lives Matter an international cause.
May 29: U.S. President Donald Trump states he is terminating the country’s relationship with the WHO over its supervision of the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming WHO has become a “puppet of China” and that American funding will be redirected to “other global public health needs.”
The George Floyd protests reached its pinnacle during this month, especially in the states of Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, California, New York, Washington D.C., Iowa, Illinois, Las Vegas etc. Several rioters and protesters were shot dead by the police, or injured with bullet wounds and tear gas.
June 6: Joe Biden is officially announced as President Trump’s opponent in the upcoming November election.
June 7: The Minneapolis City Council passes a resolution to begin the process of abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department, which was met with opposition from Mayor Jacob Frey.
June 10: After 34 years of investigation, Sweden closes the case of the murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986, indicating Stig Engström as the suspected murderer.
June 14: Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, commits suicide.
June 18: Dame Vera Lynn, whose songs gained popularity during the Second World War, and gave her the epithet “The Forces’ Sweetheart” dies aged 103.
June 25: Iraqi security forces raid the headquarters of the Iranian-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah, and detain three high-ranking commanders of the group along with 20 other fighters.
June 25: Liverpool become Premier League champions for the first time and win their first top-tier title since the 1989–90 season.
June 28: The worldwide COVID-19 cases surpass 10 million while the death toll surpasses 500,000. U.S. remains the leading nation in cases, accounting for over 25 percent of both cases and deaths worldwide.
Ah, so we have made it into July. The month hasn’t finished yet, but that hasn’t stopped it from being grievous enough.
July 3: The European Union approves the use of the drug remdesivir to treat severe cases of COVID-19.
July 3: An Istanbul court begins an in absentia trial of 20 Saudi Arabians accused of involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
July 4: Black Lives Matter protesters tear down the Statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore, Maryland.
July 4: WHO suspends its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination of HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir after they fail to reduce mortality in infected patients.
July 5: Mercedes-Benz announces that it will be recalling 668,954 vehicles in China due to possible oil leakage issues.
July 7: It’s official. The United States declares its intent to withdraw from WHO in 2021.
July 10: One-third of Bangladesh has already been submerged, after the onset of flood due to one of the heaviest rains in a decade. This is going to be the worst flood in Bangladesh according to FFWC, and the current condition is predicted to exacerbate in the coming week.
July 12: The death toll in Mexico surpasses that of Italy at 35,000.
July 15: Kanye West files paperwork with the Federal Election Commission for his presidential campaign.
July 15: Bangladeshi entrepreneur and Pathao’s co-founder Fahim Saleh is found decapitated and dismembered in his 2.25 million dollars’ worth condo.
Whew… the year does not seem anywhere near its end. It is comically improbable that more such distressful and dramatic events will not entail in the following months. As such, my pessimistic self shall be back in December accounting everything else that went wrong in 2020.
The writer, a cynic, is a part of the TDA Editorial Team.