Good News, Music, And Events That Brought People Together During The Whirlwind Year Of 2020

Most people will agree that 2020 is one roller coaster of a year. With our sense of normalcy completely flipped upside down, it’s always smart to look at some of the positive things that have happened throughout the year.

While quarantine didn’t make for an ideal summer, it helped clean waterways of pollution to the point where wildlife actually wanted to return. But keep reading; there’s some more much-need optimism to come.

Drive-In Movie Theaters Made a Comeback

Drive-In Movie Theaters Made a Comeback
Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Unfortunately, 2020 was the year that movie theaters shut down, movie releases were delayed, and production was halted. Thankfully, with the bad, there did come good. With the closure of the nation’s cinemas, drive-ins have started popping up.

It’s like the United States was transported back to the 50s, with people driving their cars to lots, snacking while watching some good old-fashioned movies on a big projector screen. It might not be the new releases people were hoping for, but it’s still a fun activity.

Hamilton Came To Disney+

Hamilton Came To Disney+
Noam Galai/Getty Images
Noam Galai/Getty Images

When Broadway shut down in 2020, theatre-goers were disappointed they wouldn’t be able to see some of their favorite productions. Thankfully, Disney+ had other ideas. In July of 2020, the streaming service released the play to its platform.

Once again, for a sliver in time, a lot of people had something in common — grabbing a giant bowl of popcorn and running to their television screens to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning masterpiece Hamilton.

Mother Nature Began To Heal

Mother Nature Began To Heal
Sunil Pradhan/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Sunil Pradhan/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With the lack of cars on the road, air pollution drastically decreased through 2020, and Mother Nature couldn’t have been more thrilled. During a time when climate change is an increasingly huge issue, it’s wonderful to see good air quality making a comeback.

The air cleared up so much during the year that amazing sights were beginning to rear their heads around the world, such as the visible peaks of the Himalayan Mountain range.

Taylor Swift Dropped A Surprise Indie Album

Taylor Swift Dropped A Surprise Indie Album
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Taylor Swift gave the world something they didn’t know they needed, her eighth studio album, Folklore. A surprise release, the album was unlike anything T-Swift fans have heard before. It wasn’t pop, country, or even dance music. Folklore was the indie album we didn’t know we needed in 2020.

In typical T-Swift fashion, the album quickly became a chart-topper, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 with each of the 16 tracks finding their way to the Billboard Top 100.

Experimental Food In The Kitchen

Experimental Food In The Kitchen
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Staying home wasn’t exactly thrilling in 2020, but it did pave the way for some fun experimental food! Throughout the year, more than one food trend made its way into kitchens across the world.

Interesting morning drinks like whipped dalgona coffee were all the rage, while more than one person mastered the art of banana bread, and things like “pancake cereal” came about. And, of course, all kitchen creations were highly Instagram-worthy.

Overwhelming Support For Mom And Pop Shops

Overwhelming Support For Mom And Pop Shops
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

With the 2020 closure shutting down a lot of people’s places of employment, communities have been banning together, helping to keep local mom and pop shops open. It hasn’t been fun, but the year has brought a huge sense of community back into towns.

Instead of ordering from chains and big-name restaurants, people shop at their local markets and boutiques, doing what they can to help their community and support small businesses around town.

Animals Returned To The Streets And Waterways

Animals Returned To The Streets And Waterways
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images

While quarantine wasn’t ideal for a majority of people around the world, a few good things came out of decreasing carbon footprints. Primarily, wild animals began popping up in the most unlikely of places. Well, unlikely before pollution was taken out of the equation.

Wild goats were filmed in the streets of Wales, dolphins and fish returned to Venice, Italy’s waterway canals, and monkeys pretty much took over the streets of Thailand.

The Animal Crossing Take Over

The Animal Crossing Take Over
WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images
WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images

Even when people were feuding over masks and world views, there was one thing that brought everyone together in 2020, even if it was for a little while — Animal Crossing: New Horizons. During a time where people were cooped up inside with pretty much no face-to-face interaction, they turned to the interactive video game.

People dabbled in the stock market, aka turnips, help tech conferences, and built their own farms. Even celebrities got in on the fun!

Pet Adoptions And Fostering At An All-Time High

Pet Adoptions And Fostering At An All-Time High
Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images
Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images

When the quarantine was first initiated, many people decided it was a great chance to adopt or foster a dog. They’re working from home, so why not? As it turned out, “quarantine dogs” were so popular that some places were even running out of animals!

One headline even read, “Newest Shortage in New York: The City Is Running Out of Dogs to Foster”. We don’t know about you, but this is one shortage we can definitely get behind.

Working From Home Helped A Lot Of People

Working From Home Helped A Lot Of People
RRobin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
RRobin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

For some, it might not be the best-case scenario, but for others, working from home has helped their lifestyle and mental health in a huge way. With no commute, people have been able to balance their home life much better, spending more time with family and getting more work done around the house.

Not to mention the amount of time and money that’s being saved not having to commute to and from work!

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch In May

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch In May
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

After postponing liftoff, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, Kennedy Space Center on May 30, 2020. Designed by Elon Musk, the rocket was the first commercial spacecraft to launch astronauts into orbit.

The historic moment opened the doors for private sectors in the ongoing exploration of space. Many bad, harsh, and demeaning things can be said about 2020, but lacking historical events certainly isn’t one of them!

Saying Hi To Co-Workers’ Pets During Meetings

Saying Hi To Co-Workers Pets During Meetings
Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Working from home has brought a whole new way of arranging meetings, aka video chats via Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and many more. And while meeting over a video call isn’t the same as an in-person setting, there are some benefits.

One benefit being the introduction to co-workers’ pets! You’ve probably seen pictures, videos, and heard co-workers talking about their pet’s shenanigans before, but nothing is quite like saying hi to them over a Zoom meeting!

The “COVID Art”

The "COVID Art"
John Keeble/Getty Images
John Keeble/Getty Images

While a global pandemic isn’t exactly great news– actually, it’s horrible news– it did bring some new art to the table. While at home, people began exploring new hobbies, one of which was putting masks on classic works of art like the Mona Lisa.

Others took their art a step further, painting murals along the streets to thank the essential workers who were taking the time to go to their jobs, making life a little easier for the rest of us.

A Whale Of A Tale Stopped A Rouge Subway

A Whale Of A Tale Stopped A Rouge Subway
Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency/Getty Images
Niels Wenstedt/BSR Agency/Getty Images

On November 2, 2020, the Netherlands had quite a scare. In the morning hour of 12:30 am, a runaway subway lost control, shooting through multiple stops. Thankfully, there was something there to stop the train when it came to the end of the track.

Before the train had a chance of crashing 30-feet to the ground, it was caught by none other than a giant whale tale statue! Thankfully, there were no passengers on the train.

The Giant Pandas At The Hong Kong Zoo Procreating

The Giant Pandas At The Hong Kong Zoo Procreating
Liu Guoxing/VCG via Getty Images
Liu Guoxing/VCG via Getty Images

The notoriously celibate giant pandas at the Hong Kong Zoo were finally found fornicating in 2020 after the establishment closed its doors amidst the global pandemic. Apparently, Ying Ying and Le Le didn’t appreciate the humans peering at them through the glass!

For ten years, the zoo staff tried to get the two pandas to mate, with no success. Then, three months into the closure, people rejoiced to see the once-endangered species actually mating.

People Coming Together Over Tiger King

People Coming Together Over Tiger King
FOX via Getty Images
FOX via Getty Images

If anything good came out of 2020, it’s the fact that people came together over the entertaining absurdity that is the Netflix original docu-series Tiger King. Forums, internet memes, and TikToks used the show’s real-life characters, bringing people together in such an oddly fantastic way.

Now, we could all virtually-ban together to figure out if Carole Baskin did kill her husband and discuss just how crazy Joe Exotic and the world of big exotic cats truly is; it was definitely a bonding experience.

K-Pop Fans Promote Tolerance And Unity

K-Pop Fans United Under One Cause: Stopping Racism
The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images
The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images

If anything, 2020 was a year full of surprises. One such surprise was how K-Pop music fans banned together to encourage tolerance and unity in the world.

The dedicated fans, united by their love for the band K-Pop, discovered an even greater shared common interest. The fans flooded social media with messages of tolerance and inclusivity that reached such a high volume that it momentarily silenced negativity on the social media platforms.

Thanking Essential Workers, Nurses, And Teachers

Thanking Essential Workers, Nurses, And Teachers
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

One amazing thing that came out of the whirlwind year of 2020 is people thanking essential workers, nurses, and teachers. People began to notice how hard these people work and how life wouldn’t be as smooth if they dropped everything.

Parents are beginning to sympathize with teachers more, while nurses are thanked as storied heroes, and grocery store employees are getting praised. Even murals are popping up in cities, thanking them for their selfless service.

The Holiday Season Came Early

The Holiday Season Came Early
Altan Gocher / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Altan Gocher / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

For a lot of people, 2020 hasn’t exactly been “cheery.” Because of that, many communities are putting up their holiday decorations a bit earlier than they would in the past. The fun part is most people don’t care because the world could use a bit of cheer this year.

Lights are being strung on trees, Christmas music is being played through speakers, and even a Santa or two has been spotted in select towns. Holiday cheer is something people are rallying behind.

The Oscar Win For The Korean Film Industry

The Oscar Win For The Korean Film Industry
Steve Granitz/WireImage
Steve Granitz/WireImage

This might feel like it was ages ago, but at the beginning of 2020, the South Korean film Parasite won the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture, the first foreign film to do so. The win was a huge success for the Korean film industry and a major stepping stone for Asian actors.

That sole Oscar wasn’t the only award the film brought home to its country. Bong Joon-ho’s film also won an Academy Award for Best Director, Best International Film feature, and Best Original Screenplay.