New Year’s Eve 2020: Every major event that didn’t involve coronavirus

There's been deaths, explosions and even the danger of another world war

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As Brits mark New Year’s Eve 2020, we’re looking back at all the events that happened this year which didn’t involve coronavirus.

Even if we managed to escape the grips of COVID-19 at the start of the year, there’s no denying we’ve still been well and truly put through the ringer.

Yes, that’s right. This year’s been such a write-off that we needed an actual reminder of just how many abysmal events have happened.

In fact, we’re willing to bet you may have even managed to avoid knowing about some of these considering the speed of this year’s endless news cycle.

Delivery company accidentally kills 5,000 pets

More than 5,000 pets were found dead in a shipping facility in China in September. It was the result of a “miscommunication” in a supply chain.

The animals included rabbits, cats and dogs. They were all being held in plastic or metal cages wrapped in cardboard boxes with breathing holes. However, they were without food or water for over a week before being discovered.

A few hundred somehow managed to be rescued once the mistake was realised.

Naya Rivera’s death

Beloved Glee star Naya went missing at the beginning of July while boating on a lake with her son.

As a result, a long search ensued to try and find her alive. However, just days later divers found her body.

It was later ruled that she had sadly passed from accidental drowning in an attempt to save her son from suffering the same fate.

Fires ravaged areas around the world this year (Credit:

Australia ravaged by bush fires

Horrific fires ravaged Australia over the summer, displacing millions of people from their homes.

The blazes swept through every Australian state and killed at least 33 people.

However, it was the animals that felt the truly brutal impact of the incident.

Nearly three billion creatures in total were either killed or displaced because of the fires, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Barbara Windsor EastEnders
Barbara passed away aged 83 (Credit:

Dame Barbara Windsor’s death

The legendary actress died at 8.35pm on December 11 at a London care home after battling Alzheimer’s.

She was one of the UK’s most beloved actors, and had first made her health battle public in 2018.

“It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve,” said her grieving husband, Scott Mitchell.

An oil leak wreaked havoc on Arctic wildlife (Credit:

Russia declares state of emergency after oil leak

A state of emergency was declared in June after 20,000 tons of diesel leaked near the Arctic city of Norilsk.

It marked the second largest Russian oil spill ever, and turned the Ambarnaya river bright red across a distance of 135 miles.

Chadwick was the star of Marvel’s Black Panther (Credit:

Chadwick Boseman’s death

The world was stunned when Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman tragically passed away in August.

The actor, 43, had secretly been battling cancer for years, with only those closest to him being aware of his condition.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in the statement.

Kobe Bryant and his daughter tragically killed (Credit:

Kobe Bryant’s death

US basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

Read more: Half of Brits admit Christmas in lockdown could be a good thing

There were no survivors in the crash, and an outpouring of grief around the world for Kobe and his family swiftly followed.

The BBC were also later forced to apologise over an unfortunate mistake during Kobe’s obituary.

meghan markle and prince harry
Prince Harry and Meghan ditched the UK in January (Credit: SplashNews)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quit the UK

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stunned the world when they announced their decision to quit the royal family.

Their announcement arrived in January, and seemingly set the tone for the rest of the year.

Read more: Brits divided over launch of M&S festive face masks

Sadly for the couple the media quickly turned against them, and they faced a severe backlash as the prepared to ditch the UK and move abroad.

However, Piers Morgan won’t be happy to learn that despite the move, Meghan remains the most popular royal.

Deadly Beirut explosion

A powerful explosion at a port in Beirut in August killed at least 190 people almost instantly. As a result, thousands of others were left injured.

The accidental detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate sparked the explosion.

George Floyd’s death sparked protests (Credit:

George Floyd’s death and subsequent violence

The 46-year-old tragically died during an arrest outside a shop in Minnesota in May.

Officers pinned him down, and one police officer – Derek Chauvin – knelt on Floyd’s neck for around eight minutes.

As a result, it sparked accusations of racism and police brutality. Consequently, it became the catalyst for widespread Black Lives Matter protests around the globe.

A plane shot down in Iran (Credit:

Ukraine plane crash

A Ukraine International Airlines passenger plane that took off from the Iranian capital Tehran in January crashed just minutes after taking to the air.

All 176 people onboard died in the incident. Iran initially denied responsibility for the incident.

Nonetheless, after days of denial, the Iranian government admitted to “unintentionally” shooting down the plane.

kim kardashian kanye west
Kanye tried, and failed, to become President (Credit:

Kanye West ran for President

Well, this one’s pretty self explanatory. Sadly for Kanye, he barely received any votes and placed a strong last in most states.

However, with the promise of running again in 2024, we’ll also keep this in the drafts for the next few years just in case.

Joe Biden eventually beat Donald Trump and will become President of the United States next month.

donald trump leaving the white house
Trump almost started WWIII (Credit:

World War 3 fears

A US drone strike killed infamous Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on January 3.

It ramped up tensions between Iran and the US, and the country vowed “severe revenge”.

As a result, fears of World War 3 sparked, with the UK currently on a “severe” threat level which means the government believes an attack is “highly likely”.

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