Towards the end of 2016, social media users were calling it the “worst year in history”, with hashtags such as #2016worstyearever being especially popular. Many were even begging for the year to end. Was 2016 really so bad? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why people were saying this.
In Europe, two major terrorist attacks involving trucks driving into crowds of people occurred. Conflict raged in the Middle East, especially Syria, further contributing to the refugee crisis. Over in South America, the Zika virus outbreak continued. The United States saw their deadliest mass shooting in recorded history, with 50 casualties after a man went on a killing spree inside of a gay nightclub. In November, Americans elected Donald Trump, known for his sexist behavior and racist policies, much to the shock of the rest of the world. A number of beloved celebrities also passed away in 2016. Last but not least, almost every month in 2016 was the hottest on record, stirring up fear of global warming.
Several historians, however, laughed when asked if they thought 2016 was really the worst year ever. “The masses are just overreacting,” said one of them. “Do you really think things are as bad now as they were during World War II or the Black Plague?”