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UP IN SMOKE, HORRORS OF 2020

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Zozobra goes up in flames at Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe Friday. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE, N.M. — If ever there was a year to rid ourselves of gloom, it’s 2020.

Unwonted and unwanted, the year has been lowlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted our lives and canceled so many signature events. But the annual burning of Zozobra, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe, went on Friday night — though without a crowd — at Santa Fe’s Fort Marcy Park.

Organizers of the event that normally draws in excess of 50,000 arranged for people to deposit their troubles in a virtual gloom box for a small fee. People were able to watch “Old Man Gloom” set ablaze in a televised event and, with it, their woes go up in smoke.

Here’s a sample of some of the sorrows people submitted during one of the gloomiest years of our times.

• • •

“My gloom is about the state of the U.S. and also the disappointment in my life. Up in flames! Burn!”

• • •

“This is a photo of the virus (COVID-19), which I survived. Good riddance to the gloomiest gloom of all.”

• • •

“Corona, quarantine, stupid people not wearing masks, isolation, anxiety, depression, boredom, suffering, illness, Donald Trump, sycophants, pedophiles, billionaires, and (expletive) jerks.”

• • •

“…Life as we knew it 6 months ago feels as though it’s forever lost. Murder Hornets made it to the U.S. … Our country is politically divided, hate and sorrow are increasing daily. Please burn this country’s pain and loss.”

• • •

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Zozobra went up in flames at Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe Friday. There was no crowd this year because of the pandemic, but the event was broadcast on KOAT. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

“COVID go away so I can travel again one day.”

• • •

“… I spent 9 years with someone who made me feel so small, like I was a burden and mistake, and now I’m finally free.”

• • •

“Lack of empathy from the president on down!!”

• • •

“Credit card thieves and fraudsters!”

• • •

“Burn up this extra weight I gained during COVID-19 quarantine; send the pounds up in smoke. No more anxiety about finances — BURN BABY BURN!”

• • •

“Burn away COVID, racism and hate!”

• • •

“El 2020 fue un año complicado. Quiero mandar a quemar la ansiedad de la pandemia, el estrés de las operaciones de mis hermanas y las espectativas del trabajo y todos miedos ansiedades de una vida incierta.”

Translation: “2020 was a complicated year. I want to burn the anxiety of the pandemic, the stress of the operation of my sisters and the expectations from work and all the fear and anxiety of an uncertain life.”

• • •

“2020: COVID, murder hornets, distance learning, Zoom meetings, ex-boyfriends, accepting that I’m fat, a body I’ll never have, oppressive heat and drought, annoying coworkers.”

• • •

“My mommy died.”

• • •

“Always trying to control, guilt about being critical and unkind. Need to accept and let go. Want to be open to love and be vulnerable.”

• • •

“I miss seeing my son in Denver and my daughter in Brooklyn. My wonderful brother-in-law has been diagnosed with (Lewy Body) dementia …”

• • •

“COVID-19, which cancelled all the operas, arts festivals, and dive trips I had planned this year, thereby putting so many friends, artists, and other people I care about out of work & in danger of losing their livelihoods… Also all the Covidiots who don’t do everything they can to stop the virus in its tracks: Burn, Baby, Burn!!!”

• • •

“Generally depressed about the state of the country, world, environment! What an abysmal summer, over it!!! Out with the old — we all need something new!!! Burn the bad juju from this past year!”

• • •

“Health issues.”

• • •

“I’m hoping after Zozobra, I will be finally and permanently released from financial struggle, a series of super (expletive) relationships, and this extra chub I gained during COVID.”

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The Zozobra event included a fireworks show. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

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