Light continues to illuminate the world after false predictions of its end

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Holly McDonald, Feature Editor

It’s the cherry on top of an already miserable year. Conspiracies are stating the world is predicted to end on December 21, 2020.

Year after year, new trends of “the end of the world” sweep through the media and cause hysteria through a great number of individuals. But time after time, they are inaccurate, because look at us— we are still here.

Let’s travel back to one of the most infamous years of conspiracies; 2000. Many feared of the Y2K “bug” in which computer dates would not switch from the year 1999 but rather back to 1900.

The worries behind this sprout from the way computers were programmed in the 20th century. In order to save memory space on the computer, the date would read only with the last two digits. So instead of saying 1989, the computer read 89. Many feared this coding system would interpret the year “00” as 1900 instead of 2000.

It’s hard to believe that a technology glitch could cause so many errors. It was believed that systems would shut down, causing banking and financial glitches, widespread power outages, and many more causes of general fear.

Panic buying became normal as households across the country stocked up on things like extra food, batteries, and toilet paper (which seems to sound pretty familiar today).

One woman interviewed in The Lily was able to share her memory of how she coped with the possibility of the Y2K scare.

“One of the major concerns of Y2K was that when the computers crashed at midnight, planes would no longer be able to fly,” Elizabeth Ann Steiner said. “In the high hopes that this would prove to be true, we booked a week-long vacation on Hawaii’s Big Island. Apparently, most folks feared getting stuck in Hawaii, and the resort, and the island, were practically empty. The pool, the beaches, the nature areas — all were our own personal spaces for use.”

But as the final seconds dwindled down of the 20th century and the new year rang, nothing changed. The world kept on spinning and people continued their daily lives.

It may have seemed like some of the scariest moments at the time, but now people just look back and laugh at the circumstances.

“I was in high school and was at my friend’s house for new year’s eve,” middle school science teacher Mr. Carmichael said. “When the ball dropped my friend’s dad went into the basement and turned off the circuit breaker to the house. Everyone freaked out for about a minute until he turned it back on and came up with a smirk on his face. His joke wasn’t very funny though when it ended up killing some of their fish because the pump short-circuited.”

Jump forward 12 years and another common “end of the world” conspiracy took place in 2012.

Instead of all technology failing, this conspiracy revolved around the Mayan calendar ending. Their calendar has something called a “grand cycle”, that took over 5,000 years to make one completion. After scientists estimated the beginning date of the calendar, it showed that the calendar ended on December 21, 2012.

Even deeper was the alignment of the stars that night. It was a winter solstice, and the first time in nearly 26,000 years in which the sun and the equator of the milky way were aligned.

Yet, the day came and went like nothing happened.

So here we are in 2020 and it’s another prediction that the world is going to end. What could it possibly be this time?
Well, some conspiracy theorists state that there was a miscalculation in the 2012 scare. With the mechanics of the calendar and lots of math, many are trying to say that the calendar was actually eight years off, which would mean that the world will end this December 21.

There have been hundreds of accusations that the world will end on a specific date. But there is one overwhelming similarity between them all — they’re false.

If all these predictions were correct, we wouldn’t still be here. So as December 21 rolls around this year, it’s extremely unlikely that there is anything to worry about.

2020 has thrown us some tough challenges this year but this is nothing we can’t handle. Our lives will keep moving on because in reality, there is nothing that can stop us.