2020: Enough said

It all started so innocently, a couple of stories about local people caught out on cruise ships as a mysterious virus swept through passengers and crew.

Then, more stories on the news about sick people filling hospitals in New York City.

But it took an NBA basketball player testing positive for the novel coronavirus, and the subsequent cancellation of his team’s game that was set to start only moments later that really set 2020 off on its own extraordinary tangent.

Suddenly the reality and seriousness of this new contagion hit home with a resounding thud.

Little did we know at the time just how that thud would reverberate through the year.

My own wife and son were in Arizona, visiting her parents who are snowbirds just outside of Phoenix. My son was excited to see his first NHL game that Thursday night, the Arizona Coyotes vs. his beloved Vancouver Canucks. Alas, it too was cancelled. There were tears.

Then came the scramble to get home before borders were closed. Flights were delayed, worried texts exchanged.

Upon their arrival we headed home where we encamped in self-isolation for two weeks, as prescribed by public health authorities. It all felt a little extreme and overwrought at the time, but in a few weeks, we figured, it would all be over and we could laugh at this weird blip in our routine.

How wrong we were.

The COVID-19 pandemic has coloured virtually every story we told in the Tri-City News since March. In fact, the acronym pretty much auto-fills now every time we type a capital “C.”

The first few weeks of covering the COVID story were a mad scramble just to keep up with reporting on cancellations, closures, and new protocols. As it became apparent this virus would be more than a diversion in the calendar, we settled in for the long haul, looked for stories about people coping, finding their new normal.

We didn’t have to look very hard.

As miserable as 2020 has been — for so many reasons — there have been just as many reasons to celebrate a year that brought out the best in so many people, tested our communities and found them much more resilient and enduring than we’d ever imagined.

In the context of a global pandemic, no story felt too small or mundane, because every one had the potential to offer hope and reassurance we’d all get through this.

Here are some of my favourite photos that accompanied many of those stories. If you click through to the gallery, you’ll be able to read a bit of commentary about each image.