Are you looking for some respite from the grim headlines of 2020? We’ve rounded up ten good things that happened in 2020 that you may have missed.
Look, we know it’s been a bleak year. When the clock struck midnight and glitter erupted upon our New Year’s Eve celebrations, it’s safe to say that many of us didn’t have a clue about what the next year would bring.
Between the disastrous effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the wide-spread global outcry as a result of police brutality, and the continued destruction of the environment (to name just three), most of us have been grappling with some tough stuff.
With everything that’s happening, it’s a common refrain at the minute to hear folks wishing the last few months of this ill-fated year away.
We’re definitely not here to erase the fact that it’s been a god-awful year for many, nor to brush over the brutal realities that we are all finding ourselves in.
However, it’s equally important to remember that some light can always be found – even in the darkest of years. So, we’ve rounded up a list of good things that happened in 2020 (yes, there were some!) to hopefully remind you of this.
If you have your own good news stories, feel free to share with us in the comments, and here are ten good things that happened in 2020.
10. Life-changing medical advances – Nigerian-Irish teens develop an app for people living with dementia
While STEM subjects may be a male-dominated field, the excellent minds of three teenage girls from Drogheda came together to create an innovative app to aid people living with dementia during lockdown.
Joy Njekwe, Rachael Akano, and Margaret Akano, who range from 15 to 17 years of age, developed “Memory Haven”, and have gone on to take first prize in the Technovation Girls competition at the 2020 Technovation World Summit, beating 1,500 others from 62 countries.
9. A new home from the community – community spirit to the next level
A couple in Fartown Glenamaddy were distraught when an accidental chimney fire led to their beloved thatched cottage burning to the ground.
Melanie and Jeremy Zanni, who worked as bakers after immigrating from France ten years ago, found themselves homeless.
To their surprise, local politician Michael Fitzmaurice led a team of volunteer tradesmen, apprentices, and retired carpenters in building them a new home from scratch in just three weeks.
8. Joy captured on camera – highlighting the good things that happened in 2020
The ‘New Normal’ exhibition, an online photography exhibition reflecting on lockdown through pictures showing moments of joy, hope, and change, is a collaboration between District and Junior magazines, and Photo Ireland.
It highlights the power of photography to transform the ordinary into something bigger, and the photographs are available to view online.
7. Great news – Africa was declared free of polio
On 25 August, the World Health Organisation delivered the news that there had been no new cases of wild poliovirus recorded on the continent of Africa since 2016. While other types of the virus persist, this is hopeful news.
6. Family reunion – cat missing for three years reunited with UK owner
53 year old Keith Bigland from Fenland in Cambridgeshire was “distraught” when his late mother’s pet cat, Biscuit, disappeared in 2017 after escaping from their home.
But Mr Bigland and his wife Su were in disbelief when a local vet called them last Wednesday to say their fluffy gold and white pet, now aged 14, had been handed in after he was spotted just over one kilometre from their house.
5. The new normal – GMIT staff member making hundreds of reusable face coverings for nursing homes
Kelly Roberts, a GMIT staff member in Galway, has been making hundreds of reusable face-coverings in her spare time between providing technical support to GMIT students and homeschooling her own two children.
4. Retro revolution – drive-in cinemas have made a comeback
Across Ireland, an unlikely institution many had dubbed as “archaic” is making a return.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions across the island, meaning people can’t enjoy the cinema in the way they’re used to, drive-in cinemas are giving people a nostalgic evening out!
3. Nature prevails – autumn in Ireland this year will be even more beautiful than usual
An Irish botanist explains the scientific factors that make for particularly vibrant russet colours in our autumn leaves.
And an exceptionally beautiful autumnal spectacle is definitely one of the good things that happened in 2020.
2. Supporting the arts – Arts Council of Ireland will be given government funding for 2021 of €130m
The arts in Ireland have struggled massively during the Covid-19 crisis, and this investment will help to support the artists and organisations effected.
1. The Northern Lights – the Aurora Borealis expected to be visible from Ireland
With plenty of clear spells on the cards, take a look towards the north and see if you can spot the Northern Lights. Definitely one of the good things to happen in 2020.