TIME released its 2020 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The list includes five categories: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans, and Icons. All nominees have been reviewed and judged by experts and peers in each individual’s field. From battling blazing fires to reimagining an industry, the TIME100 brought a new perspective of the year 2020. In honor of these inspiring stories, I wanted to highlight the ones that stood out to me.
Leader – Dr. Anthony Fauci
Unprecedented and with no procedure book, Dr. Fauci advised the nation on the progress of COVID-19. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci has advised six Presidents over 36 years. When COVID-19 hit the states, he was among the first to navigate what was happening in a country dealing with a crisis. His confidence and refusal to be pressured by politicians allowed him to be heard and inform the American public of what was going on. His actions and influence in 2020 put him in the spotlight and as a frontline leader on TIME’s Top 100.
Icon – Amy O’Sullivan
As the U.S. cases started to rise, every medical professional was put to the test, including Amy O’Sullivan. With 18 years as a veteran ER nurse at Wyckoff hospital in Brooklyn, Amy treated the first COVID-19 patient at the hospital, who became the city’s first death in early March. Soon after treatment, Amy contracted COVID-19. Her story and others spread awareness of the importance of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in the fight against COVID-19. Amy’s heroism and millions of healthcare workers were the faces behind the masks. The people who are just like us, fighting a battle with no proven strategy. Amy’s courage and bold actions were remarkable, and TIME was honored to include her in the list.
Pioneer – Megan Thee Stallion
Despite the global events of 2020, Megan faced challenges of her own. Megan lost her father early on, and her mother passed from cancer last year. Megan’s strength is her persistence of high-quality empowering music; her work has soared in the past year with her No. 1 songs “WAP” and “Savage.” She has emerged victorious from the publicity nightmare of being shot and the media continuing to try to take her down. Megan’s presence in the rapper community has not gone unnoticed, and her recent viral songs and unapologetic femininity has earned her spot as a Pioneer on TIME’s Top 100.
TIME CEO and editor in chief Edward Felsenthal wrote, “This year’s list looks far different than any of us could have predicted just six months ago. The TIME 100 has always been a mirror of the world and those who shape it. While the TIME 100 list typically includes CEOs and stars, this year presented itself differently because it includes many extraordinary, lesser-known individuals who seized the moment by saving lives, building movements, lifting spirits, and repairing the world. These individuals work challenges each of us to wield our influence toward a world that is healthier, more resilient, more sustainable, and just.”
In reflection of the complete list, every person mentioned had to adapt, overcome, and, most importantly, prosper. The word that comes to mind to describe these people is vital but diminishes these people’s work. They have strength and perseverance; words described when speaking of historical events. These people and their stories are historical and left a mark on the world’s timeline here in 2020. As a college student and a woman, reading the diverse impacts of this list reminds me of what has happened this year. That it is okay to come to terms with the worst and make it the best.