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December 25, 2020 – Coming in at number 7 on our top stories of the year is a topic we have dubbed “mask madness.” In so many ways, face coverings have become the political flashpoint of the past year. The Line opinion panelists weigh in on how a piece of cloth became such a dividing line in 2020. They also weigh in on our 6th biggest story of the year: the pandemic’s impact on schools in New Mexico. Many districts went to virtual-only classes this fall, but some opted for a hybrid model. Experts agree both situations will lead to learning loss and roughly 12,000 students have basically gone missing during the outbreak, leaving educators and leaders with tough challenges ahead in the coming years. (Note: our list of the top ten stories of 2020 is non-scientific and represents the thoughts of the New Mexico in Focus team, along with help and input from our panelists). 

Host: Gene Grant  

The Line Opinion Panel:     
Dan Boyd, Albuquerque Journal Capitol Bureau Chief  
Julie Ann Grimm, Santa Fe Reporter Editor & Publisher 
Jessica Onsurez, Carlsbad Current Argus New Director 
Andy Lyman, New Mexico Political Report