2020: A Round-Up Of All The Moments That Made Us Smile
The new year is almost upon us, and I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we’re ready to say goodbye to 2020.
However, with every dark cloud that was weighed over this turbulent and challenging year, there have been rays of sunshine breaking through the cracks, giving us all that little push to keep on going and remind us that it’s not all bad. Here are some of these moments.
Captain Sir Tom Moore raised £33 million for NHS charities
I think we can all agree that Captain Sir Tom Moore is single-handedly one of the greatest things to come out of 2020. The 100-year-old World War II veteran raised £33 million for the NHS, by doing sponsored laps of his Bedfordshire garden, in the weeks leading up to his centennial birthday.
Sir Tom became a beacon of hope during a time when people in the UK were struggling with the ramifications of lockdown restrictions put in place to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The 100-year-old was personally commended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and later received a knighthood for his gallant fundraising efforts.
World’s ‘loneliest elephant’ makes first friend after almost a decade alone
Kavan, who was dubbed the world’s loneliest elephant, broke hearts all over the world when it was revealed he’d been all on his own, with no elephant company, for more than eight years.
But, if there’s one thing to come out of this awful 12 months, it’s that after years of lobbying and a little help from Cher, Kavan was moved to an animal sanctuary in Cambodia, where he finally made his first friend in almost a decade.
While Kavan will need continued physical and psychological support after so many years of neglect, he was visibly much happier after touching trunks with another elephant for the first time since his companion Saheli died in 2012.
Teacher walked five miles a day to deliver free school meals to his students
A primary school teacher from Grimsby walked five miles every morning to deliver free school meals during the first lockdown.
Zane Powles delivered more than 7,500 packed lunches, containing a sandwich, a packet of crisps, a biscuit and an apple, to his pupils who were forced to stay at home.
Powles wanted to ensure that no child went unfed during the difficult times, as four in 10 of the pupils who attend Western Primary School are classed as disadvantaged, so rely on free meals provided at the school.
He was one of the many lockdown heroes to emerge earlier this year, as communities came together to support one another. What a legend.
Rare pygmy possums discovered almost a year after Australian bushfires
Conservationists in Australia discovered a couple of adorable little pygmy possums, a species that hadn’t been seen since bushfires ravaged their habitat. It was feared the incredibly small marsupials had become extinct as a result of the deadly fires, which wiped out millions of animals on the island.
Almost a year later, the creatures were discovered by Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, as part of the non-profit organisation’s efforts to help Kangaroo Island recover from the bushfires.
The group also discovered 20 other various species, including a southern brown bandicoot and a tammar wallaby.
Critically endangered North Atlantic right whale calves spotted off US coast
Marine biologists spotted not one, but two, North Atlantic right whale calves swimming off the United States coast.
The first calf was seen swimming alongside its mum, just off Cumberland Island in Georgia, while a second was spotted swimming with bottlenose dolphins off Vilano Beach in Florida. The sightings, which took place at the beginning of December, were described as ‘uplifting news for this fragile species,’ especially so early into the calving season.
Around 20 births per year are required to ensure the critically endangered species’ survival, so two sightings in one week offers a great amount of hope to conservationists.
First coronavirus vaccine was administered in the UK
After a year of stress, heartache and uncertainty, people up and down the UK were reduced to tears when a 91-year-old woman became the first person in the world, outside of clinical trials, to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
For many people, seeing Margaret Keenan, from Coventry, receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine served as a beacon of hope that we will soon be reunited with our loved ones.
Margaret, who turned 91 this week, said the COVID-19 vaccine was an ‘early birthday present,’ although, truth be told, it felt like a gift to us all.
There’s no getting away from it, this year has been rough, but it’s finally time to close the book on chapter 2020, and move on to what we hope will be a year filled with hope and happiness for all those who have struggled over the last 12 months.
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