Episode 148: 2020 - Year in Review

In Episode 148 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson & Jan O'Brien talk a look back on the year that was, and boy, it was certainly not business as usual by any stretch of the imagination.   Through the darkness, there were many moments of light.  Let's reflect on 2020, the year that was!



 We hit the web and pulled a ton of information for you to peruse.  The following information comes from a variety of sources and we thank the original source of each.  Let's start off with some links to some of the top 2020 Year in Review lists:

The 2020 Year In Review

Google Year in Search 


Social Media Stats 2020 

Celebrity Deaths in 2020



  • STATS as of 12-31-20, 2:22 am Pacific:

Worldwide - 82+ million cases | 1.8 million deaths

United States - 19.7+ million cases | 342,395 deaths


Vaccines roll out in December

Currently, two vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:

COVID as the Great Accelerator

COVID-19 Will Be Remembered As The ‘Great Accelerator’ Of Digital Transformation

The Great Pandemic is really the Great Accelerator


Consumer Behavior During the Pandemic (Forbes)



  • The monthly unemployment rate in the United States from November 2019 to November 2020 (seasonally-adjusted)


Tenant Eviction Moratorium

Mortgage Forbearance



Enough said!


Systemic Racism - Black Lives Matter

26 simple charts to show friends and family who aren't convinced racism is still a problem in America

Time Article: America's Long Overdue Awakening to Systemic Racism



Wildfires in the US:

  • 53,000 individual fires
  • 95 million acres burned

Hurricane Season:

  • 31 named storms 
  • The naming convention we are used to began in the mid-1900s and since then, there has only been ONE year that the Greek alphabet has had to be used: 2005. That was the year, the Atlantic Basin broke records with 28 systems including hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma - all 3 Cat-5 storms
  • Only one Cat-5 storm in 2020 - Iota


Streaming Services:

According to the most recent data, 78 percent of consumers in the United States were using a subscription video-on-demand service in 2020, an increase of more than 25 percent in four years. It is no secret that one of the most popular platforms (and certainly the one with the most U.S. subscribers) is Netflix. 

Netflix has a total of 183 million subscribers. The closest competitor is Amazon Prime Video which has more than 150 million members, although since this is rolled into its standard Amazon Prime membership, it doesn’t give a clear indicator of how many people use the streaming service. Hulu isn’t doing too poorly, either, with just over 32 million subscribers.

The Walt Disney Company reported that Disney+ had nearly 74 million subscribers worldwide as of its final quarter of 2020. This marks a growth in the service's subscriber base of almost 50 million since the start of the fiscal year. The service launched in November 2019 and by the company's first fiscal quarter of 2020 had already amassed more than 26.5 million subscribers in the United States.

 Although streaming figures have risen sharply as a result of COVID-19, they were already on the rise. Studies report that the number of times people spent streaming in Q4 2019 increased by 58 percent compared to the previous year. 

Movie Industry

The Most-Watched New On-Demand Films in a Year Without Movie Theaters:

  1. Hamilton (Disney+)
  2. Borat 2: Subsequent Moviefilm (Prime Video)
  3. My Spy (Prime Video)
  4. Extraction (Netflix)
  5. Phineas & Ferb the Movie (Disney+)
  6. Mulan* (Disney+)
  7. The Old Guard (Netflix)
  8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
  9. The Witches (HBO Max)
  10. The Lovebirds (Netflix)
  11. Rebecca (Netflix)
  12. Project Power (Netflix)
  13. Enola Holmes (Netflix)
  14. Black is King (Disney+)
  15. Madea’s Farewell Play (Prime Video)
  16. Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
  17. Bad Hair (Hulu)
  18. Artemis Fowl (Disney+)
  19. Lost Girls (Netflix)
  20. An American Pickle (HBO Max)
  21. Spenser Confidential (Netflix)
  22. The Devil All The Time (Netflix)
  23. Stargirl (Disney+)
  24. Greyhound (Apple TV+)
  25. Holidate (Netflix)
  26. Palm Springs (Hulu)
  27. The One and Only Ivan (Disney+)
  28. Clouds (Disney+)
  29. Blow the Man Down (Prime Video)
  30. The Sleepover (Netflix)


Stock Market

Updated December 20, 2020 / Original December 18, 2020

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 5.8% in 2020, to 30,179, after gaining 0.4% this past week. The S&P 500 is up 15% this year, to 3709, after rising 1.3% for the week—even though Tesla (ticker: TSLA), which has soared 731% in 2020, won’t join the index until Monday. 

Yahoo Finance:

Amazing Stock Market Statistics:

  • $80 trillion is the global stock market value.
  • The current stock market has been going on for a record 10 years.
  • On average, the stock market performs the poorest in September.
  • Over 80% of the stock market is automated.
  • The US represents about 40.01% of the total global stock market capitalization.
  • 52% of US adults have money in the stock market.
  • About 10% of US households hold international equity.


Online Shopping

Online shopping is growing so fast that the global online shopping market size is predicted to hit 4 trillion in 2020. And in the US alone, we’re expecting to have 300 million online shoppers in 2023. That’s 91% of the entire country’s population!

So far, 69% of Americans have shopped online, and 25% of Americans shop online at least once per month. The majority (59%) of these shoppers bought clothing items, and 47% bought their first item on Amazon.

But Americans aren’t the only ones who shop online. People all over the world understand the benefits. According to Invesp, the countries with the leading average eCommerce revenue per shoppers are: USA ($1,804), UK ($1,629), Sweden ($1,446), France ($1,228), Germany ($1,064), Japan ($968), Spain ($849), China ($626), Russia ($396), and Brazil ($350).


Delivery & Pickup Services

When many Americans sheltered in their homes early in the coronavirus pandemic, meal delivery sales reached new heights. Our data reveal that in November, sales for meal delivery services grew 125 percent, collectively.

Shelter-in-place orders may also be driving more Americans to make their first meal delivery purchase. In November, 35 percent of U.S. consumers had ever ordered from one of the services in our analysis, up from 27 percent a year ago. 


Small Business 

Yelp data shows 60% of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are now permanent. ... According to Yelp data, permanent closures have reached 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won't be reopening.


Schools - Remote Learning


Mental Health




Online Meetings

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed quite a few aspects of all our lives. Most of us have completely switched from company meetings to video conferencing, from working 9 to 5 in purpose-built offices to home ones, and from attending seminars to watching webinars.

While most of those changes were already becoming increasingly popular with each year, the pandemic turned them from “optional” to a “must” overnight. Video conferencing in particular seems to be an ideal solution for times of working from home.

  • 43% of remote and in-house teams use a video conferencing tool (Source: GetVoip)
  • 78% of corporate companies use video calling software for team meetings (Source: HR Technologist)
  • 83% of businesses with over 250 employees are likely to purchase video calling tools (Source: Commercial Integrator)
  • 86% of companies conduct employee interviews over video calls (Source: Gartner)
  • 62% of companies use three or more video calling platforms (Source: Forbes Insight)
  • Zoom had over 300 million meeting participants per day in 2020 (Source: Business of apps)
  • Google Meet had over 100 million daily meeting participants in 2020 (Source: TheVerge)
  • Microsoft Teams had 75 million active daily users in 2020 (Source: Windows Central)



Businesses - Restaurants, Retail

Small businesses employ almost 50% of American workers. Yet, our results underscore the financial fragility of many small businesses, and how deeply affected they are by the current crisis. In our sample, which is skewed toward the retail sector, we found that 43% of businesses were temporarily closed and that employment had fallen by 40%. This represents a shock to America’s small firms that has little parallel since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Our results suggest that many of these firms had little cash on hand toward the beginning of the pandemic, which means that they will either have to dramatically cut expenses, take on additional debt, or declare bankruptcy. This highlights the ways in which the immediacy of new funding might impact medium-term outcomes.

Small businesses’ responses to our survey suggest that many are likely to fail absent financial assistance. As of the last week of March 2020, 38% of businesses viewed it as unlikely or only somewhat likely that they would be open as of the end of 2020. While optimism increased when they were informed about the CARES loan program, it is unclear whether the CARES act will enable most of America’s small businesses to survive—or whether beliefs about its impact are overly optimistic.



Artists - Online Concerts, Drive-In Concerts

Melissa Ethridge
From 58 days of free Facebook Live from Home concerts to earning $50,000/month (as of August 2020) from her paid subscription service

Five Things Melissa Etheridge’s Livestreamed Concerts Get Exactly Right


Canceled Concerts

The financial damage from canceling and postponing events is extreme: The industry is expected to lose nearly $9 billion in revenue this year.

Livestream Concerts:


Billboard Year-End Top of Charts Lists


  • The Great White Way will stay dark until late 2021.
  • Broadway’s closures also heavily impact the businesses around theaters, including hotels, restaurants, and public transportation. Tourists who come to visit from other states or countries account for 65% of Broadway’s annual ticket sales. These visitors contributed around $11.5 billion to the New York City economy last year, according to an annual report published by the Broadway League.
  • Around $8 billion of that spending was at restaurants, hotels, shops, and public transportation.





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