Dr. Sarah Rowan and other medical staff from Denver Health medical center administer a free drive-up COVID-19 testing in the parking lot of Abraham Lincoln High School on November 7, 2020 in Denver. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado Sun readers had a lot on their minds in 2020 — and it’s not surprising that COVID-19 was a dominant topic for those who contributed our guest opinion columns.

As we tallied which of our opinion pieces attracted the most readers across the year, which are listed below, we found that a high percentage focused on the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how we have responded to it. As our recent countdown of The Sun’s 25 most-read news stories of 2020 also showed, COVID-19 is a fundamentally concerning topic for our readers. (You’ll find our pandemic news coverage here.)

A deeply personal contribution from Greg Moore, former editor of The Denver Post, about troubled relations between Black Americans like himself and the police also drew many readers in a year when the Black Lives Matter movement stepped to the fore.

There also was wide interest in opinion essays examining the ravages of wildfires, drought conditions and climate change gripping Colorado. And pieces on the election, immunization, the plight of immigrants, outdoors policy and one man’s restoration of faith in America also made our top-25 roster.

Contributors of our most-read opinions in 2020 included a former U.S. senator, a restaurant owner, a college student, a ski-town mayor, a DACA recipient, a farmer-rancher, a group of Christian bishops, a defeated election candidate, a radio talk-show host, a poet and speaker, a documentary filmmaker, an immunology professor, Latinx activists and a child-protection official.

You can find all of our opinion columns here.

The Colorado Sun welcomes opinion contributions from our readers — fact-based essays from Colorado voices that thoughtfully examine issues of concern to Coloradans. For 2021 we especially welcome new voices representing diverse opinions, communities and geographies across our state.

You’ll find guidelines for contributions here. If you have questions on our policies, send an email to opinion@coloradosun.com.

Below is our list of the 25 most-read guest opinion essays of 2020. Note: This ranking does not include columns from our regular opinion contributors, including Mike Littwin, Mario Nicolais, Diane Carman and Craig Silverman. Also, one piece was published in late 2019 but is ranked here based on its 2020 readership.

  1. Opinion: Denver residents refused to wear masks during 1918 pandemic. What have we learned?

2. Greg Moore: Police and black folks — the swagger and disrespect must end

3. Opinion: I’m a CU Boulder resident adviser. Administrators have grossly mishandled COVID-19.

4. Opinion: Here’s how getting stranded restored my faith in America this July Fourth

5. Opinion: Is your neighborhood raising your risk? Redlining set Denver communities up for more coronavirus danger

6. Opinion: Colorado’s intensifying drought conditions call for urgent collaboration

7. Opinion: Super fires across the West have many causes, but one gets little attention

8. Opinion: Colorado bishops speak out on COVID-19 and court’s church ruling

9. Opinion: Passage of landmark Great American Outdoors Act now looks like an election-year show

10. Wilson: Black and vaxxed — a complicated history clashes with the future of Senate Bill 163

11. Opinion: My family and I came here for a better life. Now we live in fear and limbo

12. Krieger: A baffling mistake as Denver tries to stem the coronavirus pandemic

13. Opinion: Cory Gardner should do his job — and remember who he’s working for

14. Opinion: I’m the owner of seven Denver restaurants. Coronavirus just forced me to lay off 200 people.

15. Opinion: Why it’s crucial to protect yourself from coronavirus at work

16. Opinion: Trillions in coronavirus spending is putting AOC’s favorite economic theory to the test

17. Opinion: I didn’t make “Denver in Decay” to save the city. I want to wake people up.

18. Opinion: An open letter to child protection and human services staff everywhere

19. Opinion: Mayor Hancock’s interference harms Denver Public Schools superintendent search

20. Opinion: I’m the mayor of Vail — and now I have coronavirus, too

21. Opinion: On a campaign “less about winning and more about destroying me”

22. Opinion: I’m a lifelong Republican, and here’s why I’m voting for Joe Biden

23. Opinion: How do we fix Colorado’s unfair tax system? It depends on who pays.

24. Opinion: Jared Polis must take these 5 steps to prevent workplace spread of COVID-19

25. Opinion: How to use ventilation and air filtration to prevent the spread of coronavirus indoors

The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to opinion@coloradosun.com. (Learn more about how to submit a column.)

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Mark Harden

The Colorado Sun — mark@coloradosun.com Email: mark@coloradosun.com Twitter: @MarkHardenNews