A year in review: All the positive things that happened during a brutal 2020

There's no question 2020 has been a brutal year. 

And while we don't want to minimise the harsh reality of all the suffering and loss caused by coronavirus, Newshub thought we'd look at a few positive things that happened this year.

And surprisingly, we found enough to make a whole story out of it.


We have to start this good news story with cute animal pictures but with good reason. Many animals had a grand old year in 2020 and there were a host of baby animal booms.

Kenya reported this year its elephant population has doubled, while its lion numbers increased by 25 percent too. Uganda, meanwhile, had a gorilla baby boom with primates breeding in unprecedented numbers.

In another win for animals, this year Egypt banned tourist camel rides near the pyramids. 

The pandemic and policies to curb the climate crisis have hastened the demise of fossil fuels, with oil consumption now in terminal decline.

In fact, while humans have struggled with the pandemic, the planet has really benefitted. Lots of small wins; like bird song in big cities that previously had none, and fish returned to the canals of Venice in Italy for the first time since last century.

And with fewer cars and planes moving around, at one point this year global greenhouse gas emissions dropped 17 percent, the single biggest drop in human history.

Thick effluent coming out of a tall chimney against a blue sky background.  Composed to allow space for copy.
Photo credit: Getty

New beginnings

While one pandemic is still raging there was good news over in Africa; Polio was officially eradicated in August following decades of work.

We are of course apolitical as reporters so we'll leave it up to you to decide whether Donald Trump losing the US election can form a part of this story.

Video communications app Zoom has been one of the winners of 2020; we could host meetings in our boxer shorts, online dates, and some incredible concerts. 

And it must be mentioned that as of Wednesday, New Zealand is now first in the world at test cricket - our highest ever ranking.

In fact, New Zealand is on stage at the moment for all the right reasons. We are some of the only people in the world that can live relatively normally, and still party.

Take that, 2020.

Blackcaps' bowler Neil Wagner.
Blackcaps' bowler Neil Wagner. Photo credit: Getty

What else are Kiwis happy about this year?

"We've bought a house," one person told Newshub.

"I'm retired and just enjoying the family," another said.

"Lots of good things," added a third person. "Got a pay rise at work [and] got a promotion."

And 2020 ended with the best piece of news science could possibly offer; vaccines for the virus that ruined the year in the first place.