Terms derived from Latin patior or passus—endure, suffer, feel—tell the story of 2020.
Patients. Infections from a deadly new virus overload hospitals and staff.
Impassioned. Demonstrators pour into streets to protest killings by police.
Impatient. Americans are ready to be done, but the pandemic rages on.
Compassion. Old people at highest risk lose the comfort of family visits.
Dispassionate. Impartial judges reject efforts to overturn election results.
Patience. Vaccine distribution begins to unroll, offering hope for 2021.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.