The Ride of 2020

Past year felt like a rollercoaster to many with fast loops, steep hills

2020 Rollercoaster
Illustration by Magen McMillian

2020. A scary number for the majority of people around the world. Now that 2020 ended, 2021 potentially offers people a chance to reflect and think back on the events of the year. Many adjectives describe 2020; crazy, chaotic, never-ending. But to put it simply, 2020 felt like living on a rollercoaster. Going up and down on tracks that clicked and shook the world to its core. A rollercoaster that seemed to never end, stuck in an infinite loop that turned stomachs. A rollercoaster with steep drops and freefalls. Finally, the rollercoaster ended and the car screeched to a halt. And now the world buckles into another roller coaster car, bracing itself for 2021. Some are hoping and praying for a better year and some predicting that 2020 simply comes as a prequel to things escalating, and not in a good way.

2020 consisted of many ups and downs, like that of a rollercoaster. People held onto high hopes for the start of a new decade. However, unpredictable events started taking place just after the start of 2021. The world waited for “normal” to return. But things just kept happening, and the world never recovered from one before another loop came like a rollercoaster that thrusts its passengers from one spiraling loop to the next without even a second to recover and regain one’s bearings.

Even more like how a rollercoaster throws its passengers around on the ups and downs, 2020’s twists and turns caused people’s emotions and coping abilities to land all over the spectrum. The mental state during the battery of 2020 for many reached an all-time low. Quarantine meant not seeing friends or family, online school became a struggle of itself for students, work consisted of zoom meetings. People ate too much, or maybe not enough. Isolation of a different kind happened, sitting in bed, not reaching out to anyone. If 2020 resembled a rollercoaster, it felt like being in the car alone, seeing the steep falls from the top of the hill with no one to look to. 

Along with all of this, the world experienced physical repercussions as well. Gaining weight from all the quarantine snacking. COVID-19, taking away taste and smell. In some situations, the world became so scary that some became sick with anxiety for their friends and family. It becomes hard to take care of oneself when it seems the whole world has stopped, frozen in time, like the final moment atop the hill of the rollercoaster dangling in suspense right before plummeting to the ground in hopes that the brakes are still intact.

Every month, it felt like the universe threw another obstacle onto the tracks for people to overcome. World War III, Kobe Bryant’s death, COVID-19, anti-mask protests, Black Lives Matter protests, wildfires, deadly explosions, the election. However, along with all these downs, ups existed, even if overshadowed by all the negative and tragedy. In quarantine, people learned to bake, cook, make whipped coffee and cloud bread. Some even studied an entirely new language with their families and became bilingual because of the influx of time at home and the closures that surrounded everyone. As COVID-19 and the tragedies of 2020 tore the world apart, citizens came together to help one another and support everyone in these trying times. 

The past year truly seemed like a rollercoaster, with many ups and downs. However, the world needs to take its eyes off the bad moments and steep drops and look at the good times that happened in 2020. Instead of dwelling on 2020, the world needs to move forward and dust itself off. When someone is at the bottom, the only direction is up the hill of the rollercoaster. And think, how boring life becomes if everything we experience is predictable.