I think we can all admit that 2020 has not been a banner year so far.

Trump has escalated US tensions with Iran. Climate change has intensified the Australian bushfire season resulting in the loss of over one billion animals. Populations around the world are in a state of civil unrest. NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash along with seven others. And to top it off, the outbreak of coronavirus has the world on edge as we wait to see how far it reaches and how bad it gets.

If 2020 were a person, it would be fair to say, “Get it together.”

That being said, there are some positives that have happened thus far that deserve to be highlighted.

  • A research team at Cardiff University in the UK has discovered a way that the body’s immune system can fight back against different types of cancers. A cell called the T-cell and its receptors are able to find and kill cancerous cells in the body without damaging other cells and tissue. This means that treatment could become more specialized to an individual using their body’s own natural defences. A more detailed description of how this would work can be found here.
Image from the National Institute of Health
  • BMW became the first major car manufacturer to join Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA). This initiative is a certification program that makes sure that all the resources throughout the supply chain are mined in an ethical manner. With attention put toward car manufacturers producing more electric cars, the materials needed to make these vehicles often come from countries dangerous and illegal mines. IRMA measures a company’s protection of human rights, environmental impact, financial transparency and their observation of health and safety guidelines. BMW joins the like of Tiffany & Co. and Microsoft in leading the charge of creating an industry norm.
  • Bon Jovi rockstar Jon Bon Jovi opened JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurant at Rutgers University-Newark to help ease food insecurities faced by college students. The restaurant is a non-profit and gives the option for students to either pay for their meals with money or through volunteer work at the restaurant or somewhere on campus. "Students have enough to worry about. Worrying about where their next meal will come from should not be on the list," said Dorothea Hurley, Bon Jovi’s wife, who is credited for the realization of the restaurant.
  • China has introduced a policy that would see single-use plastic banned from all major cities by the end of 2020 and in towns and villages by the end of 2022. This ban also includes phasing-out plastic takeout utensils, plastic straws and plastic packaging used by courier services. Certain areas of China will also have restrictions placed on the production and sale of plastic.
Photo by Daniel Romero (Unsplash)
  • And, in what is probably the best news to come out of 2020 yet, Brad Pitt and Jenifer Aniston had an adorable reunion at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. If this event alone is not reason to hope for the future, then I don’t know what is.