The World This Week: 2020 Recap Edition


Across the nation and globe, 2020 saw countless historical moments. Photos: Jonathan van Smit, Neil Moralee, yashmori and Victoria Pickering on Flickr.

Emily Han, Online Editor

The World This Week (TW2) is a newsletter by The Coat of Arms. TW2 seeks to provide a compact and digestible source of world and local news, sent to your inbox every Sunday evening so that you can get caught up before starting each new week. This article is an extension of the content from the December 20, 2020 TW2 newsletter. While TW2 typically includes a summary of each week’s major events, this newsletter is the final edition of TW2 in 2020 and covers some of the most significant events from the past year. The Coat of Arms thanks our readers for staying informed and supporting student voices!

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The Coronavirus Pandemic


Photo: Neil Moralee on Flickr.

Lockdowns Occur Across the Globe
With more than 1.6 million COVID-19-related deaths as of Dec. 20, over 150 countries have imposed social distancing measures during the pandemic. As the virus spreads this winter, many areas are implementing special lockdown policies. Read more.


Photo: Francis Mariani on Flickr.

Pandemic Causes Economic Struggles
In February, the stock market experienced its worst crash since 2008. Small businesses, airlines and hotels have especially suffered during the pandemic. Job loss has been rampant. Recently, Congress reached an agreement to vote on a $900 billion stimulus deal to support Americans who have lost their employment. Read more.


Photo courtesy of Tripp Robbins.

Daily Life Impacted by COVID-19
Schools, sports, entertainment and other aspects of normal life halted during the pandemic. Mental health has also become an increasing concern. Furthermore, the pandemic has had various impacts on the environmentRead more.


Photo: Cindy Shebley on Flickr.

Vaccines Begin Worldwide Distribution
Countries across the world have started distributing vaccines on a large scale. The U.S. has approved two vaccines and is providing its first doses to frontline workers and people 75 or older. Read more.



CA Announces New Lockdown Measures
With increasing concerns about the virus spreading during the holidays, California recently imposed its strictest lockdown since March. In most regions, all gatherings are prohibited, and 100% masking is required. Read more.


The 2020 Election


Photos: Phil Roeder on Flickr.

President Trump Faces Charges
After the House voted to impeach Trump in December 2019, the Senate acquitted him of both charges just over a month later. Still, during the presidential election, most of the nation focused on issues other than Trump’s earlier impeachment trials. Read more.


Photos: btwashburn on Flickr.

Conflict Arises Over Voting During Pandemic
Beginning with changes to the USPS in August, election integrity was a central issue to the 2020 election. With more access to mail-in ballots this year, voters turned out in record numbers. However, Trump maintains allegations of voter fraud. Read more.


Photo: yashmori on Flickr.

Supreme Court Vacancy Causes More Conflict
After the late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death in September, Trump quickly nominated Justice Amy Coney Barrett to fill her seat. Justice Barrett’s judicial hearings took place right before the election, causing controversy. Read more.


Photo: deckerme on Flickr.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris Win the 2020 Election
Biden and Harris have begun their transition to the White House after winning the Nov. 3 election, with a 306-232 lead in the electoral college. On Dec. 13, the official electors cast their ballots, which will be counted on Jan. 6. Read more.


The World This Year


Photo: Todd Petit on Flickr.

Natural Disasters Are Increasingly Prevalent
In January 2020, a series of bushfires ravaged much of Australia. Later, California experienced a particularly devastating fire season. Across the globe, natural disasters caused extreme panic and destruction this year. Read more.


Photo: Victoria Pickering on Flickr.

Black Lives Matter Reignites Globally
Record numbers of protesters expressed their frustration with police brutality and their solidarity with the Black community through activism effort. In 2020, racial justice became an extremely prominent national and international topic. Read more.


Photo: Felton Davis on Flickr.

Yemen Faces Humanitarian Crisis
The years-long civil war in Yemen escalated this year, creating devastating impacts for civilians across the country. The United Nations has said that Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Read more.


Photo: Jonathan van Smit on Flickr.

Hong Kong Protests Continue
Protests and tensions in Hong Kong persisted this year, with continued conflict over the region’s independent status. Recently, several pro-democracy activists were jailed, and a pro-democracy publisher was charged with fraud. Read more.


Photo: Prachatai on Flickr.

Mideastern Nations Experience Deadly Crises
In August, a devastating explosion killed hundreds of people and injured thousands more at a port in Beirut, Lebanon. Across the Middle East, conflict and violence caused several crises this year. Read more.


Photo: Gerard Stolk on Flickr.

Protests Continue in Belarus
In Belarus, protests have continued for months over the allegedly fraudulent reelection of Alexander Lukashenko. Tens of thousands of people have been detained, while thousands have been injured; four people have died during the demonstrations. Read more.