Can you remember how 2020 began? Perhaps you still remember waking up on the cold morning of January 1st to messages and calls from friends, families and loved ones wishing you a happy new year. Or maybe you did not even sleep at all, you were probably busy sending New Year wishes to people within your network. Do you still remember the New Year resolutions? Or the warm feeling that comes with every New Year? By now your mind is probably taking a short trip down memory lane to the happy moment that was just about six months ago. While 2020 may have begun like every other year, seven months into the year, the entire world has been taken aback by unprecedented events the scale of which continues to confound historians, analysts, politicians, professionals and more or less everyone with access to news.
The first few weeks of 2020 saw an increase in political tension between the United States and Iran, which led to a series of jokes on social media about an impending third world war. Of course, this was hardly the first time the world got to the threshold of a world war; in fact, there have been more tenuous scenarios that almost led to nuclear wars, for example, the Cuban missile crisis. Be that as it may, reports of the brawl between US and Iran soon dissipated and not long after the world was shaken by the untimely death of basketball superstar, Kobe Bryant and his young daughter. It was a great loss for the world of sports, fans and many others whose lives had been positively impacted by the late basketball legend.
By February, the coronavirus pandemic, which had already subjugated Asia and Europe, had begun infiltrating North America and many parts of Africa. March and April 2020 are going to be known to many as months of lockdown, around this time the coronavirus pandemic had overrun virtually all health systems in the world with Europe, Asia and North America recording several thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths. Economic activities, schools, religious gatherings among others were shut down as many countries had to impose mandatory lockdown in order to seize back control. It is perhaps surprising that despite these strict measures, the daily numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases as well as death kept skyrocketing. It was a nightmare indeed. The month of May came with a sigh of relief as countries began to ease lockdown restrictions and economic activities began to recuperate, though this did not happen in some countries until June. Now, even though the pandemic is far from over, we can almost safely assume that the worst is behind us. Our deepest thoughts and prayers goes to those who have lost friends or families to the pandemic.
While the coronavirus pandemic might have been the major highlight of the first half of 2020, it certainly is not the only world-changing event to have occurred during this period. The resurgence of Black Lives Matter protest following the controversial death of Gorge Floyd at the hands of police officers in the United State remains a major event that continues to have global significance. In the United States, there have been numerous protests, some peaceful, others not so much, involving vandalism, pulling down of statues and others. In many other countries across the world, there have been similar protests and here in Nigeria, there is the ongoing debate as to the need to rename monuments and streets that were named after colonial imperialists as well as the move by the Lagos state house of assembly to ratify such.
In conclusion, without doubt 2020 has been an eventful year, even though many of its major happenings have been largely undesirable. Interestingly, we have only completed half of the year, which implies that there is more than enough time for additional events to take place. While we patiently await whatever surprise is lurking around we can only hope that the second half of the year will be much better than its counterpart.
Stay safe and stay positive!
July 2020 Editorial