2020 has been an absolute rollercoaster of a year, as the pandemic has steamrolled our society in so many ways. We’re looking back at the shit we all just went through as a community. Not all months this year were equal, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to rank them. Now is the time to remember the good, note the bad, and chuckle at the weird (just wait for BEST and WORST 2020), and everything in between.

This ranking — 12 being worst and one being best — is completely arbitrary, so don’t @ us. We’ve provided a context for each month. Please, whatever you do, don't take this assessment too seriously. 

12. JULY

Summer is in full swing. Much of the enjoyment of living in the Midwest during the summer is completely stripped of us. Cases are skyrocketing. Even though the sun is shining and we can be outdoors, everyone is acting as if the pandemic is going to go away soon, when really it is raging out of control.

HIGHS

LOWS

11. DECEMBER

We are fractions of what we once were. We once knew the person occupying the space we call our body. We barely even recognize those versions of ourselves at this point. At least the year is almost over.

HIGHS

  • It’s almost 2021, which doesn’t mean that this god-forsaken pandemic is over, but every day we inch closer to a new era where life is normal again. It is hard to be patient, but we’re trying.
  • Also, we published this.

LOWS

  • Jim Dey proves he’s still as racist as he’s always been.
  • Good lord people, it is almost 2021 and we’re still not even remotely close to being out of the pandemic. People in many areas still aren’t wearing masks. Seriously. Are we ever going to get out of this shit?

10. SEPTEMBER

While the pandemic wasn’t improving, at least we entered a new season to see... from inside of our homes. 

HIGHS

LOWS

9. AUGUST

While we wouldn’t consider things to be going well, we’ve been in this for a bit, so we were getting the hang of things. We soaked up the last bit of summertime before the cooler months hit. 

HIGHS

  • Both Ayo Dosumnu and Kofi Cockburn announced they would be returning to U of I, which meant our basketball team was gonna be really good.
  • Year of the Park kicked off, and if there's anytime to enjoy the outdoors, it is during a pandemic. 
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, a former C-U resident, was chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate.

LOWS


8. OCTOBER

Holy smokes, we entered the last quarter of the year. But hey, at least we had some holidays coming up. 

HIGHS

LOWS

7. APRIL 

We were in full-on adjustment mode, planning for the long haul of the pandemic to really mess with us as a society. There was still hope, especially for the fall, but really, we were grasping at any sign of normal life..

HIGHS

  • We were all under a fairly strict stay-at-home order, so there was no college basketball tournament happening because of COVID-19. We piggybacked off of last year’s March Madness  food and drink tournament, and took it one step further, focusing on icons in C-U.
  • Even with COVID-19 hitting as hard as it was, it was incredible to see the amount of support businesses and organizations were lending to one another all around the community. 
  • Champaign-Urbana Public Health District quickly became the leader we needed in C-U. They have been focused on the pandemic every step of the way, in the good times and bad, they were there for us.

LOWS

6. NOVEMBER

The election was finally here and even though the pandemic was terrible at least we had something else to focus on for a minute. But don’t worry, things were still terrible, but at least it wasn’t all bad this month.

HIGHS

LOWS

  • COVID-19 cases were absolutely raging, killing thousands by the day across the country, and Thanksgiving gatherings did not help.
  • The election might be over, but the aftermath is still something we’re all dealing with. Trump lost but didn’t concede. . The election was pretty good for Democrats but overall, not awesome. Candidates were already preparing for the April 2021 election.

5. MARCH

Things are not good, but at least we got to live our normal lives for a few weeks before it all went to shit. Remember restaurants and bars and music venues and hugging your friends? Sigh.

HIGHS

LOWS

4. MAY

There is some optimism about the fall, and if we could all band together and fight this thing through mitigations, we should be good soon, right?

HIGHS

LOWS

3. JUNE

There were some signs of hope that we are going to get out of this thing soon, and summertime arrived, so things were pretty good, all things considered.

HIGHS

LOWS

2. FEBRUARY

What is coronavirus?

HIGHS

LOWS

1. JANUARY

Ah, a new year. 2020, can’t wait! Recreational weed was legalized. Living in Illinois is solid right now.

HIGHS

  • Our very own Administrator of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Julie Pryde, was appointed to the Illinois State Board of Health. She is an extremely dedicated human being and an incredible source of information, and since we definitely didn’t have a global pandemic on the horizon, there’s nothing to worry about. 
  • There was some chatter about Trader Joe’s, and it was exciting though it didn’t have much in terms of legs. That said, a Costco was coming, which made a bunch of us Midwesterners happy.

LOWS

  • Damn, after 30 years, Skins N Tins closed in Downtown Champaign.
  • We were realizing this is an election year. While some might see this as exciting, there is a lot at stake and that’s stressful. Couldn’t we just enjoy the new year and not think about this yet please?

The Editorial Board is Jessica Hammie, Julie McClure, and Patrick Singer.

Top image by Patrick Singer with the help of the New York Times COVID-19 graph, some COVID-19 clip art from the CDC, and a free-use roller coaster car.