Gef’s 2020 Yearbook: November to December


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November was when we found out the DoI was considering plans for tunnels and flyovers around the TT course, spending literally millions of pounds to help traffic congestion for four weeks a year.

Meanwhile the gov also announced that TT 2021 was cancelled, marking the first time since World War II that the event would not run for two consecutive years.

Families were given the news that non residents would not be allowed to come to the island for Christmas but that students would be able to return and isolate for 14 days. As their whole household would have to isolate if they returned home, students were able to access funding from the Manx Solidarity Fund to help cover alternative accommodation.

We Made Onchan Great Again as the Groudle Glen Water Wheel, known as Little Isabella, was rebuilt and restored.

And the island was in mourning as its most famous war hero Hector Duff OBE MM BEM TH LGdh, died aged 101.

In the UK it was a case of Cummings going as Boris’ special adviser Dom walking out of Number 10 by the front door carrying his belongings in a cardboard box which provided one of the most iconic images of the year.

In America, President Elect Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump in an election where CCN’s magic wall kept millions entertained through what was actually quite a boring election night.

Elsewhere Lewis Hamilton won his seventh Formula 1 world title to equal Michael Schumacher’s record haul and real world Bond villain Elon Musk’s Space X successfully blasted astronauts to the International Space Station.

And scientists confirmed that vaccines were showing to be successful against Covid.


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December brought the arrival of the Covid Pfizer BioNtech vaccine to the island, but the roll out won’t begin until the new year.

Dale McLaughlan crossed the Irish Sea on a jet ski to see his girlfriend after being refused an entry permit twice. The Romeo roofer made headlines around the world and was jailed for four weeks. 

The Steam Packet announced its new flagship vessel will be called Manxman. She is being built in South Korea and is due to arrive in the island in 2023.

In the UK, Margaret Keenan became famous around the world as she was the first person outside of a trial to be given the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine. The second was given to one William Shakespeare.

In other news, one of the UK’s most recognisable actresses, Dame Barbara Windsor, best known as EastEnders’ Peggy Mitchell died following a battle with dementia.

A new strain of covid ripped through the UK which led to multiple countries closing its borders to British freight and travellers which led to massive tailbacks on motorways around the south of England.

As the turkeys were defrosting and some of us started our Christmas shopping, news broke in the early hours of Christmas Eve that the UK-EU trade deal was to be announced imminently. After a lot of journalistic waiting around, it was confirmed that negotiations had concluded and the supposed biggest free trade agreement in history was finalised.

In one of the more bizarre news stories of 2020, which really is saying something, Nepal and China announced Everest is 86cm taller than we all thought it was meaning the world’s highest peak stands at 8,848.86m (29,032 ft).

And finally experts at the World Health Organisation announced that Covid ‘may not be the big one’ and its ‘destiny’ is to become an endemic, meaning we’re just going to have to live with it. The head of the WHO emergencies program, Dr Mark Ryan, said: “The likely scenario is the virus will become another endemic virus that will remain somewhat of a threat, but a very low-level threat in the context of an effective global vaccination program.”