‘Challenging, unbearable and crazy’: Community reactions to the end of 2020

From wildfires to a presidential election to a global pandemic that literally changed life as we know it, 2020 is a year that will go down in the history books. The eventful year brought many challenges, joy and sadness to people around the world.

Locals in the Tri-Cities spent their afternoon at Howard Amon Park in Richland reminiscing about the last 365 days and what they are hoping 2021 will bring.

Some residents said they just wanted life to return to normal.

Marco Izquierdo, a sophomore at Hanford High, said the year was “unbearable.”

“It’s been rough as we haven’t been able to see our friends and it’s taken a toll on everyone’s mental health,” Izquierdo said.

Kevin Hester, another sophomore at Hanford High, agreed adding that 2020 was “boring” because everything was shut down.

“It’s been hard on a lot of people, some more than others,” Hester said. “Hopefully things will open back up in 2021.”

For Paul and Kim Mayer, two teachers in the area, all they want is to return to school.

“I’m looking forward to being able to give high-fives, give smiles, hear their laughter and actually tell them to be quiet in-person. That’s what I really want,” Mayer said.

But for others, despite all the hardships, there were glimpses of joy.

Christina Maughan, a Tri-Cities resident, said her year was “better than expected.”

“I was able to spend time with my husband as he worked from home,” Maughan said.

Seattle-based Doug Wolfe said 2020 brought “hope” and quality family time.

“I married my wife on Feb. 29th just before it happened and then I have a brand new granddaughter who was born just before Thanksgiving,” Wolfe said.

Some residents focused on the simpler things in life, like a visit to the park.

Three-year-old Ahlyza DaValle said she “had fun” running around and playing on the swings, hoping her parents would bring her next year.

Efrain and Norma Cordoza added that they are “lucky to be alive” and that their focus in 2021 is on their “friends, family and community.”

“We’ve learned a lot and we’ve grown with it. It’s all about your perspective and how you attack something so just staying positive and making sure that you do the best you can in the situation,” Mayer said.