Social distancing becoming a lifestyle, indoor dining becoming a thing of a past, trips abroad being prohibited and a global health crisis responsible for up to a million deaths, some of us are already calling 2020 the worst year ever, but is it really?
Considering that the end of 2020 is still a month and a half away, we’ve yet to see what it’s fully capable of and there are already much worthy candidates in the history books for the title of worst year ever.
1) 536 AD
Considered one of the worst periods in history to be alive, Icelandic volcano eruptions led to people in this time without a Sun for up to 18 months. Smoke clouds from the eruption blanketed Europe and much of Asia resulting in a 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius drop in summer temperatures, the coldest decade on record in 2000 years.
Crops began failing in parts of Ireland, Scandinavia and China before a second eruption happened again in 541, dropping summer temperatures again by 1.4 to 2.7 degrees Celsius in Europe.
To top of a bad few years, the “Justinian” bubonic plague was spreading through the Mediterranean in 541 to 543 where it led to 35% to 55% of the population being perished.
The bubonic plague began rampaging across Europe and parts of Asia; sailors aboard the ship that brought the plague to the Sicilian port of Messina had more dead than alive who were themselves already gravely ill and covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus.
60% of Europeans were wiped out and although it ended it returned years later, it brought to one of the foremost solutions to a global health pandemic – social distancing.
Known as “The Year without a Summer”, Mount Tambora erupted in Indonesia and spewed out millions of tons of ash and sulphur into the atmosphere, covering skies around the world and resulting in misery and starvation.
12,000 Indonesians were killed outright by the eruption that subsequently wiped off Mount Tambora by half; its peak elevation went from 14,000 ft to 9,000 ft, almost by half.
Snow started falling during June in Europe and North America while temperatures were below freezing in July. The sky remained dark almost permanently which led to crops failing, famine and a long period of unrest.
Millions perished from the Spanish flu in a time where many thought to be the year the seeds for World War 2 was also planted.
The Treaty of Versailles were among the other factors that gave to the rise of Adolf Hitler, and we know what happened after that.
Civil War in Russia resulted in the creation of Vladimir Lenin’s creation of Communist Soviet Union.
The maps of the Middle East were being redrawn, which created disputes that last on to this day.
While the second World War created worldwide unrest, the result of it wasn’t seen fully until the end of it when it was revealed with the millions of Jews perished during the infamous Holocaust.
16 million dead from the Soviet Union, 9 million from Germany, 20 million from China, and this all only adds on the 85 million dead worldwide due to reasons such as famine, war crimes, population transfers and contaminated food and water.