Top 10 of 2020: Good news headlines

Vikram Achuthan, Online Editor-in-chief

2020 – to say the least – was a difficult year. In past editions of this blog, tjTODAY has highlighted the top news stories of the previous year. But let’s look past the struggle and loss 2020 brought – for a few minutes – and recount the top good news stories of the last year. 

10. ‘Parasite’ dominated the Oscars on a historic night

9. And Now for Some Good News About Climate

Reliance on renewable energy increased. Countries set ambitious climate-based agendas. And Jefferson students and alumni, including climate activist Sophia Kianni, advocated for the implementation of policies that will curb climate change. 

8. Celebrity chef José Andrés transforms shuttered restaurants to feed the hungry amid COVID-19 pandemic

Chef Jose Andres (whom as I write this, is leading an effort to feed National Guard troops stationed in Washington D.C) closed all of his D.C. area restaurants in mid-March, and transformed some of them into community kitchens that served meals to those who needed one. Andres’ efforts represented just one of the many ways individuals, including members of our Jefferson community, stepped up to provide meals to struggling families and essential workers. 

7. Sports are coming back

From Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl, to Kim Ng being hired as the first female general manager of an MLB team, there were so many moments during 2020 where athletes, coaches and organizations inspired and entertained us – and brought back some semblance of “normalcy”.

6. SpaceX launches two NASA astronauts to space for the first time in historic US mission

The historic event marked the first time a spacecraft built by a private company has been launched into space, and the first time in over a decade since NASA has sent astronauts into space from U.S. soil. The mission, which carried the astronauts to the International Space Station on May 30, will hopefully be just the beginning of a new era of space exploration. 


5. 2020 turnout is the highest in over a century

66.3 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2020 Presidential Election, the highest turnout rate in over a century. Regardless of who won, the fact that a record number of Americans came to the polls in the middle of a pandemic indicates that the democracy we have is valuable and worth maintaining.   

4. Heroes of the front lines

Despite the immense challenges and risks they faced, healthcare workers stepped up to help save their patients. But they were not the only heroes of 2020. Grocery store workers, transportation service employees, teachers, coaches, and so many other dedicated professionals served their communities with compassion and determination. 

3. Summer Of Racial Reckoning

In response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others, millions of Americans marched for justice, leading to an overdue national conversation about race in America, and the efforts communities need to take to end racial inequality. 

2. Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman elected vice president

Kamala Harris became the first woman, the first Black person, and the first Indian-American person to be elected to the office of Vice President. The historic and consequential election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will result in a drastic shift from the tone and substance of the previous administration.  

1. Covid-19 vaccine en route to every state as health officials say they hope immunizations begin Monday

Amid the worst pandemic in over a century, scientists responded quickly and effectively to deliver a vaccine that prevents covid-19. While the previous record for the development of a vaccine was four years, several factors including the utilization of mRNA technology and the collaboration among scientists around the world helped create a vaccine in under one year. The end of the pandemic is near – and that is the best possible news we could have hoped for in 2020.