Healing from the wounds of 2020

Illustration by Roe Gassett | The Signal

From dealing with a worldwide pandemic to the loss of some significant figures in mainstream media, 2020 left a lasting impression on almost everyone. 

Sophomore Arham Bhimani lost his favorite basketball player in 2020. 

On Jan. 26, 2020, legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant tragically lost his life in a helicopter accident along with his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others. 

Like other fans, Bryant’s death left Bhimani not only shocked but also devastated. 

“When I found out the news at first, I thought it was actually fake,” Bhimani said. “Once it was proven to be true, at that moment, it felt like my heart stopped.” 

Although he didn’t know him personally, Bryant played a part in Bhimani’s life as an on-screen role model both on and off the court. 

“I feel like Kobe’s passing taught me that it was important to work closer and closer on leaving your legacy every day because you never know when it will be your final curtain call,” he said. 

The world lost not only Kobe Bryant in 2020. COVID-19 quickly made its way to the U.S. and claimed the lives of many Americans. 

Many were unaware of the severity of the virus until it hit close to home. For junior Jayla Brooks, it was right at her front door. 

In October, Brooks started having a runny nose, fever and congestion. She didn’t think much of it at first, but once symptoms became worse, she knew it was time to get tested for COVID-19. 

On Oct. 24, Brooks was shocked to find that she had tested positive. The virus affected her not only physically, but mentally as well. 

“During my two weeks of isolation, I began to feel a great deal of anxiety,” she said. “I found it kind of hard to only have outside communication, using my phone and not face-to-face.”

Though Brooks rid herself of the virus, she still follows specific protocols to ensure that she never contracts it again. 

“I make sure that a mask is always worn when I step outside my house,” she said. “I have also started incorporating both pre[biotics] and probiotics in my diet as well as various other vitamins.”

Due to the circumstances, 2020 played a significant role in the mental health of many, such as junior Kylah Hatchett. 

In 2020, instances of police brutality sparked protests and riots all over the nation. Civil unrest, plus the constant isolation created by quarantine, triggered Hatchett’s depression. 

“Watching the police take the lives of many innocent people, such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, really made me sad,” she said.

Hatchett also became overwhelmed from spending time in quarantine. 

“On top of that, not being able to see family and friends because of quarantine [made things harder],” she said.

Hatchett used many methods such as painting, writing poetry and cooking to help her keep her mind off of things going on in the world and disconnected herself from social media. 

The trauma caused by 2020 can be seen in many different forms that all range from emotional, physical and mental, leaving many to adjust to the new circumstances placed by this year.