Truths 2020

Clockwise from top left: Aurora Brown (Courtesy of CBC), Annamie Paul (Courtesy of the Green Party of Canada), Alicia Elliott (Cole Burston/CP), David Suzuki (Courtesy of CBC), Priyanka (Courtesy of Jackie Brown/Crave), Kayla Grey (Courtesy of Kayla Grey), Notorious Cree (Courtesy of Norman Wong and Notorios Cree), Theresa Tam (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Famous Canadians on beliefs they held that were upended by 2020

Maclean’s asked notable Canadians what this crazy, awful year proved wrong
Crosses on the lawn of the Camilla Care Community nursing home in Mississauga, Ont., in May, representing the residents who died of COVID-19 (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star/Getty Images)

2020 was the year that changed everything

The pandemic, political upheaval and an economic crisis have exploded truths and ideas that mere months ago seemed so fundamental they were beyond question
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14 things we thought were true before 2020

Democracy is our destiny? Not sure about that anymore. Rich countries can overcome? Doesn’t seem like it. In a crisis, leaders will lead? If you’re lucky. All the ’truths’ 2020 has called into question.
Uganda’s Museveni (right), with China’s Xi Jinping in 2015, has been in power for 34 years (Feng Li/Getty Images)

This year has taught us that democracy is not unshakeable

The worst system except for all the others has been under attack for years. Trump just made us notice.
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The future is virtual? Nope.

The pandemic has made it clear in more ways than we would have thought to count: you actually need to be there
Ontario Premier Doug Ford gives his daily briefing in Toronto on Monday, June 15, 2020. (Chris Young/CP)

Before 2020, we believed that in a crisis, leaders will lead. We were wrong.

The job description is right in their title, but too many simply failed to show up for work
(FG Trade/Getty Images)

2020 proved that women’s hard-earned place in the workforce is shakier than we thought

The economic crisis spurred by the pandemic has unveiled inequalities and obstacles once thought a thing of the past for women, begging the question: Have women really secured their foothold in the job market?
With some glaring exceptions, people are wearing masks as a way to show compassion for others (Bridget Bennett/AFP/Getty Images)

The pandemic has proven that the individual is not supreme

Our decades-long love affair with rugged independence has suddenly fallen away as populations throughout the democratic world surrendered individual liberties for the sake of the collective
Traders at the NYSE in late February; fears over COVID prompted a stock market plunge (Scott Heins/Getty Images)

This year has proven that the stock market has no bearing on our grim economic reality

Long treated as a key economic indicator by many, it is now completely detached from how the economy is actually doing. (Which is badly.)
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This year has shown us that we have what it takes to stop climate change

After decades of planet-threatening growth, emissions fell off a cliff. Environmentalists sense a turning point.