Hot Take: The Decade Hasn’t Ended

Many consider 2020 the start of a new decade, but historically, this isn’t true.


Maria Korolik, Staff Writer

I can’t tell you how infuriated I was last winter. As I walked through campus (does anyone still remember doing that?), scrolled through social media, watched videos and TV shows, everyone was saying the same thing: “It’s a new decade!” Here’s the thing—it’s not. The decade will end on 23:59:59 on December 31, 2020, and not a second earlier. It’s easy to get confused, of course; it’s more exciting to see the number 9 change to a 10 rather than see 10 change to 11. However, no matter what we want to believe, the decade changes as 10 rolls over to 11, not anything else. Why? Well, simply because there is no year 0 in the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the very first decade in the common era started on year 1. Add ten years, and you’ll see that the second decade starts in 11 A.D., not 10 A.D. Continuing on, we eventually reach 2011, the start of the current decade. Ten years have not passed since then, and anybody who says that 2020 marked the beginning of the new decade is either woefully misinformed or simply lying. So the next time someone remarks that this decade is “sure off to a great start,” remind them that actually, the decade has been plagued by a tragic and catastrophic end.