The pandemic was a boon for some. Once the shock of lockdowns faded, stockmarkets climbed towards new records, in part because of the soaring share prices of tech firms. Zoom meetings became a feature for office employees sent home to work remotely (Zoom fatigue was soon a common gripe). As online shopping flourished, Amazon recruited hundreds of thousands of extra staff. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, saw his wealth increase from $111bn in March to $185bn in December. The combined wealth of the world’s ten richest people grew by 57%, to $1.14trn.
Among industries, aviation and tourism were the biggest losers from the pandemic. Even with huge government bail-outs, airlines are reckoned to have lost $510bn in revenue, according to their international association. The UN reported that international tourism declined by 70% in January-August, causing a loss of $730bn in export revenues.
Scientists had what many thought to be a Herculean task developing a vaccine for covid-19, but drug firms made great strides and by the end of the year several jabs were ready. Britain started the first inoculation programme using a fully tested vaccine, followed soon after by America. Even with the vaccine, officials warn, the world will be battling the virus for another year.
The outbreak of civil war in Ethiopia was one of 2020’s great disappointments. Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister and winner of a Nobel peace prize, launched an attack on the Tigray region when separatist forces attacked the army.
Abe Shinzo, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, stood down from office because of ill health. He was replaced by Suga Yoshihide, who is determined that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead in July 2021.
日本在任時間最長的首相安倍晉三(Abe Shinzo)因健康原因辭職。接替他的是菅義偉(Suga Yoshihide)，後者決心要在2021年7月如期舉行東京奧運會。
America’s presidential election was a rowdy affair. The Democratic primaries produced a surprise when Pete Buttigieg was declared the winner in Iowa; a delay in the count because of a technical glitch raised more questions about America’s election machinery. Joe Biden cleaned up on Super Tuesday, and went on to win the presidency. Donald Trump, who was acquitted at his impeachment trial in February, resorted to more shenanigans, falsely claiming the result was fraudulent. He will be gone from the White House on January 20th 2021.
美國總統選舉是一件鬧哄哄的事件。當皮特·布蒂吉格(Pete Buttigieg)在愛荷華州被宣佈為獲勝者時，民主黨的初選收穫了一個驚喜；由於技術故障導致的計票延遲引發了人們對美國選舉機制的更多疑問。喬·拜登(Joe Biden)在"超級星期二"大獲全勝，並贏得了總統大選。特朗普在今年2月的彈劾審判中被判無罪，他採取了更多的回擊措施，謊稱選舉結果具有欺騙性。他將於2021年1月20日離開白宮。