Following a year of restrictions, adaptation and uncertainty, cross-border workers and residents of Luxembourg shared their expectations for 2021 with our colleagues from RTL 5Minutes.

One year after the coronavirus appeared in Europe, 5Minutes asked readers to share their feelings about the past year - and to look forward into 2021.

In a survey, more than 89% of the 183 readers questioned believe that the situation has stagnated (47%) or worsened (42.6%). Just over one in ten readers saw an improvement. Some even feel "less joy of living", like Nico. Others feel "isolation" in a situation described as "depressing", such as reader Wuzz. "A lost year", adds another.

Pessimism is a frequent feeling amongst some readers, who confess that this year's outlook has become blurred. "The workers are tired, annoyed by a situation that does not change," comments Max. "It's hard not to fall into a big hole. Depression is not far away...", writes Sylvie.

Some readers, however, have managed to keep their spirits up: "We have to stop complaining all the time, make the most of the little moments, be even more grateful and benevolent because despite this crisis, we are still here in good health", comments Noémia.

The lockdown and its long days spent at home also allowed the return of a form of serenity in some homes. "In terms of love, I feel closer to my companion" testifies Riri. "And on a personal level, working from home, I had more time to do household chores." But Riri understands the struggle for many businesses, "especially the hospitality sector".

2021: a sad copy of 2020?

With the pandemic still in full swing, some readers are carefully optimistic. Fabrice, who works in the health sector, sees it as a year of "transition". For Lilo, the year 2021 "is not going to be easy". But there is light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the vaccination campaign, and the regaining of lost freedoms from last year.
"I hope to be vaccinated and to be able to return to the swimming pool, to the restaurant and go travel", writes Mike, who also explains that he discovered his aversion to working from home.

Another reader, who goes by the name "M", hopes that the pandemic situation will stabilise "in order to finally be able to circulate freely." Alex, meanwhile, looks forward to "a little serenity and a return to life without a mask". "Freedom to move, work, breathe, love freely and may 2021 be a year of peace", pleads Sally.

We must "reopen everything", argue Obione and Valentine. An individual called "Hope" wishes "that the situation is arranged to resume a normal life" and that "this virus does not cause so much death and damage". And it would be better if things didn't drag on for too long, because this urge to regain our lost freedoms makes some readers far more vindictive and impatient than others. "Stop this huge global carnage!" Anouk demands. "It is possible to live with viruses. Thousands of people die each year from road accidents and yet we continue to take our cars! If we continue, we will pay a lot more!"

Anger and frustration have in fact damaged citizens' confidence in their institutions. "You have to live in the present without asking yourself too many questions", says Zezinha. "In any case, the people have no right to speak, the politicians decide everything and the scheming is present everywhere in the hospitals in Luxembourg."

Renato sees a fracture opening up in Luxembourgish society against the backdrop of the next legislative elections. "Luxembourg, a country richer than the others, should do better, but the inevitable taxes to come will (break up) the coalition in place and we will witness a grab for power".

But there are matters more urgent than a change in government: to find a normal life. If possible, starting this year. "To be able to live freely, see friends and family without restrictions, go to a restaurant or have a coffee. Travel a little", dreams Colette in a message which we all hope corresponds well to 2021.