Society retrospective

The Best of the Worst


With 2020 in the rearview mirror, we’re going all-in on the “WTF just happened?” narrative. Sure, COVID-19 made 2020 a challenging year, but it’s not all the pandemic’s fault; there were tons of other awful events that took place last year, too!


But what were the worst of the worst? We used a MaxDiff experiment to stack rank the impact of some of the most negative events of 2020. Of course, it would be impossible for us to include all of the nightmares of 2020.




Politics and wildfires contributed the most gloom to 2020. Do you think they have something to do with one another? With over 4 million acres crisped on the U.S West Coast and an astonishing 64 million acres destroyed in Australia, the 2020 wildfires cast a dark haze over what was already a less-than-rosy year.


Speaking of burning...2020 and politics. Need we proceed? The impact of the 2020 election was literally off the charts. While Republicans grieved over the presidential election results, Democrats mourned the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The (potentially first) impeachment of President Donald Trump was impactful for both parties.


Luckily, we can all come together and watch an episode of “Friends” on Netflix. Oh wait...damn you, 2020. Anyone have an HBO Max password? ...asking for a friend.