Almost 1 in 4 Americans describe 2020 as awful: Survey

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Washington–When Americans were asked to describe the year 2020 in a single word in a recent survey, nearly one in four of them said “awful”, “terrible”, or “horrible” as the US is still reeling under the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Released on Wednesday, the USA Today/Suffolk University poll of 1,000 registered voters conducted from December 16-20 also found that 15 per cent of the respondents used expletives, and that nearly all of them cited words that reflected strain or pain, reports Xinhua news agency.

Only 7 per cent chose positive words such as “OK/wonderful/good” or “enlightening/awakening”, while another 5 per cent used neutral words, like “unprecedented” and “different”.

In 2020, the US had one of the most divisive presidential elections in history with the highest voter turnout in 120 years; witnessed nationwide reckoning on racial justice following the brutal police killing of African-American George Floyd; and still continues to see spiking Covid-19 cases and deaths.

In its report, USA Today said that the country is standing at a crossroad with regard to four significant questions: Whether democracy is damaged; whether race issues have reached a turning point; whether the pandemic can be vanquished; and whether voters’ enthusiasm for political participation can last.

“We’re going to look back in 50 years and say this was the year of fundamental changes,” the newspaper cited Jim Messina, who ran former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, as saying.

Those changes, the report said, “have affected the contours of the economy, the power of social media, the strength of political parties’ bases and Americans’ views of the role of government”.

With respect to the pandemic, the report warned that even though the country has started the distribution of vaccines, “tunnel has gotten darker than ever” as cases, deaths and hospitalizations have all reached new heights in December.

The US, it said, is “in the midst of such a broad and deadly public health crisis with repercussions that are shaping other pressing challenges”, such as the fact that millions of Americans have lost their jobs amid the pandemic, and the widening economic divide. (IANS)

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