Health and Healthcare Systems

The year that COVID built: a look back on 2020

Protester Patrick Hutchinson carries an injured counter-protester to safety, near Waterloo station during a Black Lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in London, Britain, June 13, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo     SEARCH "POY BLM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2DIK9TXMOS

News photo of the year? Black Lives Matter protester Patrick Hutchinson carries an injured counter-protester to safety, London, June 13, 2020. Image: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Robin Pomeroy
Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum
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  • World Vs Virus podcast looks back on a year defined by the pandemic.
  • 2020 will also be remembered for Trump, Black Lives Matter and Brexit.
  • Subscribe to the podcast here.

What will you remember about 2020?

Have you read?

Many of us suffered loss of loved ones from the pandemic; even more of us have seen our livelihoods put in peril.

But there are some memories we will all share - captured in the news media that serve as the 'first draft of history'.

On this edition of World Vs Virus, podcast host Robin Pomeroy is joined by CNN Johannesburg correspondent Eleni Giokos to listen back on the big stories of the year.



In January no one had heard of COVID-19 - because the virus that was emerging in Wuhan, China did not yet have an official name.

This news conference during the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos shows how much we did and didn't know back then.


On the podcast we also hear news reports from hospitals in the UK and Ecuador struggling to cope as infection rates soar.


A confident US President Donald Trump addressed the Annual Meeing in Davos, where he called climate change activists "prophets of doom".


Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg expressed her anger at the world's lack of action to prevent climate catastrophe.



The killing of George Floyd by US police in May sent shockwaves around the world.

On the podcast we hear from an eye-witness at the incident and reflect on the election of Kamala Harris as vice president.



US politics gave journalists new opportunities to cast events unfolding around them as 'unprecedented'. The podcast includes some of the most memorable soundbites from a one-of-a-kind presidential election.

And while 2020 began with the UK finally leaving the European Union, it will end with uncertainty about what happens next when a year-long transition period ends.

Fake news, ever-present in 2020, prompted the World Health Organization to warn of an 'infodemic' of misinformation about the virus and potential treatments and vaccines.



What was the most googled thing in 2020? Not hard to guess. But can you get the whole top-5? It's all here.


Looking to hear some reassuring words from a reassuring voice? Sir Ian McKellen tells us it will be alright in the end.


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