Miss Universe 2020 and Miss Grand International 2020 are the first two major international beauty pageants held in 2020 amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, it is common to see social media photos of beauty pageant candidates wearing facemasks.
On March 27, 2021, Abena Appiah, 27, of the United States was crowned Miss Grand International 2020 at the SHOW DC in Bangkok, Thailand. In the question and answer portion, she and the other four Top 5 finalists were asked the same question, which was, “With the current COVID-19 situation, what would you choose between: shutting down the country for the safety of the people knowing that the country’s and its economy will be deeply affected, or would you open up the country to keep the economy running taking the risk of COVID-19 infections and the consequences?”
“I believe in proper solutions,” Appiah answered. “Whenever there’s a problem, I believe that we have to sit down and analyze. I will shut down the country because I believe that people come first.”
“The people, my people, if I was the governor, if I was president of the country, I will put my people first,” the Ghanaian-American beauty queen continued. “I will do what’s right for my people and by shutting down the country, that will give me the proper time to analyze what is going on and provide for my people so I will shutdown the country.”
In Miss Universe 2020, the Top 5 finalists were asked different questions. Miss Universe India 2020 Adline Castelino, 22, was asked, “Should countries lock down due to COVID-19 despite the strain on their economies or should they open their borders and risk a potential increase in infection rates?”
“Good evening, universe,” Castelino greeted before answering the question. “Coming from India and witnessing what India is experiencing right now, I have realized something very important that nothing is more important than the health of your loved ones.”
“You have to draw a balance between economy and health and that can only happen when the government works with the people hand in hand and produces something that will work with the economy,” Castelino continued. “Thank you.”
Castelino finished third runner-up. It was Andrea Meza, 26, of Mexico who was crowned Miss Universe 2020.