Seeking perspective: We asked readers to describe 2020. Here’s what they said… | Top Story

Overwhelming. Polarizing. Exhausting. Unimaginable. 2020 was a certainly a year like none we have encountered in our lifetimes. But how do you sum it up?

The Daily News and The Livingston County News asked readers to do just that – tell us in a word or phrase how you would describe 2020 and why. Perhaps from their responses there is some wisdom to glean.

But we also wanted to look forward to what will hopefully be a better year ahead. So we also asked them to tell us what they were hopeful for as 2021 arrived.

We’ve highlighted selected responses. Many words submitted reflected the challenges we faced last year. “Overwhelming” was the most popular word. “Scary” appears in multiple responses. Others called it “polarizing,” “the year of lost freedoms” and “unbelievably surreal.” One phrase offered a hopeful tone: “resiliency of our communities.”

While we’ve all experienced the year differently, the responses also show how much we share in common.

Thank you to all who submitted.


“The pandemic was/is most certainly an eye and soul opening experience. It made you appreciate your family, friends, work and most importantly your freedom. To not be able to celebrate or mourn or even help people in your orbit was heart breaking.”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“In 2021, I am hopeful that we can all help to get this pandemic under control. That we can get this country back to normal in every way. And I hope that people all realize that it shouldn’t take a pandemic, social injustice or politics and government to be compassionate, considerate and kind.”

– Pamela Privitera, 67, Stafford.


“2020 was full of unpredictable twists and turns. The ups and downs were like to no other. Turning the corner was scary at times. I found myself crossing my fingers for normalcy to return. And yes, the normalcy that we once complained about; new we yearn for it. It was chaotic from one day to the next; always something going on. Politically, economically, socially. It hurt us; physically, mentally, emotionally. For 2021, I want the world to feel better. I want simple happiness. I want the old normal, and I want peace.”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

– Abby Stendts, 21, Batavia.

Resiliency of our communities.

“Our people have come together in countless ways to help one another, businesses, and organizations to help them survive.”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“A spirit of renewal and strengthened optimism knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that we will see a brighter future.”

– Scott Gardner, 46, Warsaw.

Unbelievably surreal

“People are dying, yet it’s invisible.”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“Praying the vaccine is effective and politics not so chaotic.”

– Beth Allen, 58, Elba.


“Politics, covid, BLM (Black Lives Matter)… All generated strong opinions enough the defined or ended relationships.”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“Common sense and return to humor.”

– Amanda Cragg, 44, Batavia.


It was “exhausting keeping up with sanitation of everything, day in and day out! It’s not easy protecting yourself from a deadly virus!”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“Some sense of normalcy.”

– Joyce Coyle, 52, Geneseo.


“Everyday it was some new terrible news. Then when people started losing their c—, everyone gave up compounding the hopelessness of this miserable year.”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“No more Trump nonsense, and the total end to Covid coverage.”

– Martha Bemiss, 57, Dale.

The year of un-fun.

“Limited contact with family and friends. Pardon the pun, but the pandemic virtually wiped out any in-person social engagements.”

What are you hopeful for in 2021?

“To enjoy the company of family and friends in person. Virtual is not real.”

Steve Barnhoorn, 58, Honeoye

A few other descriptions called the year “a nightmare,” “a mess,” “HELL” and “Pure HELL!” Others said they are “over it!” or found the year “frightful!!!!” or “enlightening.”

Readers expressed plenty of frustrations – not seeing grandchildren, missing sports, or having to attend virtual graduations. They also noted that hybrid homeschooling, financial insecurity, and changes in the household workforce brought constant anxiety.

Eva Douglas, 76, of Dansville, did see a silver lining in some of the changes that utilized technology in new ways. “People learn to drive less and use the computer instead. Save the environment,” she wrote.

Other readers expressed frustration about executive orders such as those that restricted their ability to go to stores, restaurants and other business. The reader, who identified as a Groveland resident, called it “the year of lost freedoms” and was not hopeful that things would get better any time soon.

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Written by Politixia

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