20 Good Things in 2020: Sparking Hope for the New Year

Ahh 2020, a year of uncertainty, boredom, stress, fear, and social, political and economic tension. But to say this past year was a total wash would be totally unfair. While it’s been an emotional rollercoaster for most of us, a lot of amazing things happened in 2020 — things that were both completely random or a direct byproduct of the way COVID-19 has uprooted the lives of people across the globe. So, let’s take a breather and point out some of the goodness, big and small, that graced us in 2020.

Big wins

  1. We achieved what was once seen as impossible to fight the pandemic. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA and are being distributed to the most vulnerable populations in less than a year.
  2. Indonesia starts nationwide distribution of Sinovac vaccine
  3. Singapore #supportlocal campaign helped many businesses to stay afloat and continue surviving
  4. Americans rushed to adopt and foster pets in need amid the pandemic, completely emptying kennels at many humane societies and animal shelters across the U.S. for the first time ever.
  5. IT Industry Accelerates The Rollout Of 5G Wireless Networks And Products
  6. The world’s first 3D eye was developed. The unveiling in June of the world’s first spherical artificial eye with a 3D retina raised the possibility of bringing vision to humanoid robots and new hope to patients with visual impairment.
  7. Major gains were made in gender equality. There are now 20 countries with a woman head of state or government, up from 12 in 1995.
  8. No local COVID-19 cases from people who entered Singapore without pre-departure tests from Nov 18 to Dec 27

Little wins that still sparked hope

  1. SE Asia rainy season temperature dropped as low as 21.2 deg C in some regions, yay to the cool weather!
  2. Taco bells coming back to Asia
  3. One Utah brewery paid off an entire elementary school’s student lunch debt, proving to the world that beer can do great things.
  4. IKEA shared its beloved Swedish meatball recipe with the world. You’re welcome, moms everywhere.
  5. Virtual home tours took off, letting us daydream of new digs without even having to get up off the couch.
  6. It snowed chocolate — yes, chocolate — in Switzerland when the ventilation system at the Lindt chocolate factory malfunctioned. Don’t worry, it was harmless to the environment and delightful for everyone who witnessed the “fine cocoa dusting.”
  7. There was an elephant baby boom! More than 170 elephants (including two sets of twins) were born in Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
  8. Crayola launched a box of crayons with diverse skin colors for children to “accurately color themselves into the world.” About time!
  9. A record number of endangered sea turtles — more than 2,250 — hatched on a beach in northern Mexico. Typically, about 500 are hatched there a year, leading experts to believe the increased population is the result of us all staying at home during the pandemic.
  10. Home workout takes a hit leaving all of us healthy.
  11. Hong Kong DJ ‘Uncle Ray’ makes good on birthday promise with HK$100,000 donation to Operation Santa Claus.
  12. Animals at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) parks have seen the arrival of several newborns.

Hopefully, we can all still look back on 2020 with a little bit of gratitude and move forward into the new year with a lot more optimism. And if you want to read about Esker’s personal wins this year, check out our other year-end blog post!