Masks. Isolation. Inequality. Climate change. Resiliency. Hope.
The past 12 months have been unlike any other. As Palo Alto Weekly visual journalists captured this historic, life-changing year that included weeks of civil protests, unprecedented fires and a pandemic that transformed everyday life, their images reflect a range of unfamiliar and sometimes surreal — moments that shaped 2020.
When viewed together, these images reveal just how much life has changed over the past 12 months. Photos predating Santa Clara County's first stay-at-home health order in mid-March feel like they were taken during another era. Those moments captured before the mask mandate are otherworldly, especially considering everything we know about the spread of the coronavirus now. And the images of orange skies covered in wildfire smoke above Palo Alto are apocalyptic.
But there are also images that show hundreds of people peacefully protesting in the streets against social injustice and listening to Black community members share how they've experienced racism.
There are images of residents who rose above these challenging times, like Alice's Restaurant co-owner Andy Kerr, who delivered meals to first responders combating the CZU Lightning Complex fires in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And there are images of hope and the possible return to normalcy as some of the first recipients receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Here are those moments that illustrate how our community persevered through this trying year.
For a collection of photographs that capture the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, go to Life Under the Coronavirus.
Read more of our year-in-review coverage:
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.