2020 has been a tough year for many people, but the good news is that the year is just about over. Congratulations, you have survived one of the hardest years in modern history!

Despite the last year being challenging, it still has not been all that bad. Many good things have happened in 2020, and it is important to reflect on all these positives going forward. Positive thinking can significantly help with stress management, and most of us need some of that.

With only days to go until the new year, here is a re-cap on some good things that have occurred in 2020:

If there was ever a time to be thankful for modern medicine, it would be this year. We now have two coronavirus vaccines heading into 2021!

Faced with a medical worldwide emergency, several biotechs and pharmaceutical companies scrambled to create vaccines, and Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna successfully completed the task in only months. The vaccines have been recently approved by the FDA and are expected to help return our lives finally back to normal.

2020 has also been a year to teach us to recognize the vulnerable and underprivileged members of our society. We now have a new or better appreciation for healthcare workers, front-line workers, teachers, and just about anyone who works in essential services.

Many parents may have finally realized how important teachers are after navigating online schooling for their children, and healthcare workers are even more valued now for their contributions that they make day in and day out.

When hospital workers faced a mask shortage this past spring, a lot of people quickly took to their sewing machines to show their appreciation and fixed that shortage right away. It comes as no surprise that the online shopping platform Etsy tripled its stock price in 2020 as mask sales exploded on the company’s website.

Shares of video conferencing app Zoom also soared about 400% this year as the world turned to video chats to stay connected. Thanks to Zoom, work meetings, school lessons, family dinners, and even wedding vows could still be shared as people practiced social distancing.

Despite many places being closed in 2020, bicycles and work out equipment was sold out all year long. People opted to stay in shape or get in shape right from their home, and families have been hopping on bicycles to finally explore amazing out-door areas around their hometowns.

Dogs also had an exceptional year, as many people opted to share their homes with new four-legged friends in 2020.

“We’ve seen an incredibly compassionate response from people willing to open their homes to foster and adopt vulnerable shelter animals during this period of uncertainty and applaud them for stepping up so heroically for animals in need,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “This unprecedented compassionate response from communities across the country to support their local shelters reflects widespread appreciation of the invaluable role pets play in our lives.”

And while many restaurants were closed for in-door eating this year, some major restaurants at least shared secret recipes so people could still make them at home. Fast-food giant McDonald’s shared a recipe card for its Sausage and Egg McMuffin, while Chipotle shared its guacamole and medium-roasted corn salsa recipes on TikTok.

TikTok blew up this year with regular people and celebrities creating fun videos all year long. One TikTok video was especially charming that featured 37-year-old Natha Apodaca of Idaho Falls, skateboarding to the song “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac as he drank Ocean Spray cranberry juice. The video became so viral that it even persuaded Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood to join the platform.

Apodaca, who had no vehicle before the video, was gifted a brand-new truck from Ocean Spray after, and thanks to the help of fans, he was able to purchase a house that he reportedly paid all in cash for.

TikTok has entertained many people in 2020, especially as movie theaters were closed for a big part of the year. One good thing happened though. Drive-in movie theaters made a big comeback. As people still craved entertainment and a chance to get out of the house, this nostalgic past time returned with an enormous boom. Heading into 2021, watching movies in cars or pick-up truck beds may now become a new norm.

Speaking of nostalgia, board games also made an incredible comeback. Games like Scrabble, Risk, Trivial Pursuit and many others have helped to connect families and offered much-needed breaks from all the screen time. Chess became fashionable again too, especially thanks to The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, which is one of the best shows of 2020.

In fact, there has been a lot of bonding over streaming entertainment as many people opted to stay mostly indoors in 2020. Netflix’s Tiger King and other true-crime documentaries became popular escapism during the year.

Reality shows like “Love is Blind” have also helped people cope with staying at home and even made social distancing dating look fun. The singles on the show had dated without even seeing each other face-to-face.

The world also celebrated Parasite winning the 2020 Oscar for best film, which was the first time that an international movie has ever been given the award. Parasite arguably delivered one of the best twists ever in cinematic history.

Super Bowl LV and its Half Time show are about to happen in the next few weeks, and both are expected to look a little different from usual. At least in 2020, the nation could watch musicians Shakira and J-Lo put on one of the most amazing Half Time shows ever seen in Super Bowl history.

And while we are on music, there were a lot of other epic music events that went down this year. 18-year-old Billie Eilish made history at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards where she took home four of the most coveted prizes including best new artist. Ellish also presented us with a brand-new James Bond theme song.

Then Bob Dylan made a grand move by selling his entire catalog to Universal for $300 million while Taylor Swift dropped a second surprise album as a thank you to fans for their support as she celebrated her 31st birthday on Dec. 13th. Lady Gaga also gave us a new album that we could dance to in our living rooms and K-pop group BTS had a “Dynamite” year too and released its very first song entirely in English.

Concerts may have been canceled but many musicians took to social media to instead give us personal concerts from home, including pop star Dua Lipa and rock band Metallica.

We also had plenty of time to start reading again. Books like Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” and Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist” had been at the top of USA TODAY’s best-selling books list for weeks.

Undoubtedly there have been many negative headlines in 2020, but The Office actor John Krasinski decided to make all the good news go viral this year with his web series, Some Good News (SGN).

The SGN series ran from March 29th to May 17th and in every show, John showed us that there was still a lot of good happening in the world. Thankfully SGN will be back as ViacomCBS purchased the show in a massive bidding war. Krasinksi will stay on as an executive producer moving forward.

Hopefully, this list has helped showcase many positive events of 2020. The list is not designed to diminish any heartache or stress people have felt this year, but to remind everyone that you can always take a little light into the darkness.

2021 is around the corner and with positivity and some ambition, it may turn out to be a pretty good year.

Sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-04/did-the-pandemic-save-the-drive-in-movie-theater

https://www.insider.com/brands-restaurants-sharing-recipes-online-disney-mcdonalds-nandos

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8954377/TikTok-star-Nathan-Doggface-Apodaca-purchases-new-home-Idaho-Falls-living-RV.html

https://time.com/5912616/pet-of-the-year-2020-rescue-animals/