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2020 will be a year that none of us will ever forget. We experienced some crazy moments as soon as the new year began and things only got crazier as the months went by.
Below are the top 10 google searches for 2020 and they tell the story of chaos, uncertainty, and everything else that happened during this unforgettable year.
Here’s a look at the top 10 search terms of 2020.
10. Australia Fires
The Australia fires started in June 2019 and lasted all the way through May 2020.
The cost of the damage is thought to be over AU$103 billion and the burned area (which included over 5,900 destroyed buildings) is over 46,000,000 acres, making this one of the worst fire seasons ever recorded in Australia.
There were 34 direct deaths attributed to the fires and over 400 indirect deaths related to smoke inhalation, which earned the fire season the nickname the “black summer.”
9. Murder hornet
The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) made headlines this year, putting some people into a little bit of a frenzy as they imagined a plague of murderous hornets invading the country during the pandemic.
These large hornets are approximately 2 inches long and look extremely intimidating but the biggest threat they pose is to other insects such as honeybees.
In fact, it’s estimated that hornets, wasps, and bees in the US kill more people on average than the hornets do in Asian countries.
8. Stock market
The stock market was all over the place this year. It made gains and losses that sometimes take years to sustain. And now toward the end of the year it’s still heading strong with record gains.
7. Super Tuesday
Super Tuesday, back on March 3, was the day the presidential primaries were held for Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.
It was the night that Joe Biden solidified his position as one of the main Democrat candidates after he outperformed Bloomberg and Sanders and took California.
6. Hurricane Laura
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active and the seventh costliest Atlantic hurricane season on record. In fact, there were so many named storms that the forecasters had to use the Greek alphabet after running out of names.
Louisiana was hit with three hurricanes and two tropical storms with the worst of the storms being hurricane Laura which hit in August. That was one of the most powerful storms to ever hit Louisiana and it brought 150 mph winds and a storm surge as high as 15 feet.
It’s estimated that it caused over $16 billion in damage and caused 77 fatalities.
2020 started off with a literal bang when on January 3 a U.S. drone strike killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Iran then responded with a missile attack on US troops in Iraq.
Tensions between the countries were running high and shortly after the missile attacks, a Boeing 737 was shot down taking off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport.
Iranian officials initially said the plane crashed due to technical failures but it was later showing that it was mistakenly shot down by Iran.
Unemployment hit astronomical levels this year as shut downs forced businesses to shutter and many people lost their jobs and income. Back in the spring, the unemployment rates were over 14% which was truly scary.
The government responded with bonus unemployment benefits that went out throughout 2020 and are now scheduled to be extended into 2021.
Unemployment began to fall throughout the summer and is now down to 6.7% which is still much higher than the ~4% rate it was at prior to the pandemic but manageable.
As the vaccines go out and shut downs become less common this unemployment rate should continue to drop throughout the winter and spring.
3. Stimulus checks
If you’ve been reading this blog, you know how crazy story has been on stimulus checks.
$1,200 checks were first issued back in the spring of 2020 with the CARES Act and then there was months and months of back-and-forth and ups and downs with trying to get out more checks.
Only recently did Congress agree to send out $600 stimulus checks and now we are still currently waiting to see if Congress will approve sending out larger payments such as $2,000 direct payments.
I thought coronavirus would be number one but it’s still near the top of the list when it comes to the most searched items.
The virus has had a profound impact on the globe and will likely continue to change the way we live for years to come.
Beyond forcing us to deal with new things like social distancing and quarantines, it has sparked deep debates about public health, science, government intrusion, and personal responsibility.
The data shows that there have been 329,000 deaths in the US attributed to coronavirus (although sometimes that attribution is questionable).
But despite the dark death toll, there also is a story of amazing resilience as the world came together to produce vaccines in record time.
Not only that, but we still figured out a way to achieve some degree of normalcy with sports and other events that many (including myself) thought would be impossible.
And now with vaccines already going out to millions, the public is now hopefully on track to get back to normal in 2021.
1. Election results
The 2020 election was like no other. There was a lot of build up over the summer and a lot of tension as protests and demonstrations broke out across the country and people geared up for a highly contested election.
The results were immediately contested by the Trump administration and there continue to be legal challenges that allege fraud and corruption although it does not seem like these legal challenges will be holding up in court.
So that’s it for the most searched terms for 2020.
It’s been a crazy year especially as a travel blogger during this pandemic but I truly am optimistic about 2021 and the years to follow.
There’s a lot of pent up demand for travel and for just getting out of the house and doing things with others. Soon, people are going to be hungry to move around, to connect, and to just live an exciting life.
I think in just a couple of years we might be experiencing something akin to the roaring 20s. We’ll see.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.