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VPM News Photo Year-in-Review: The Pandemic

COVID-19 testing line
Localities offered COVID-19 testing events to serve their communities. People lined up all across the commonwealth to find out if they were infected with the coronavirus. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

As this momentous year comes to a close, VPM News is looking back at our top stories and photos of 2020 for our first ‘year in review’ series. Please check back every day this week to see some of our best photos from Crixell Matthews, Craig Carper and Alex Scribner. Yesterday's segment was on the legislative session.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted nearly every facet of life this year, even before the first lock-down order was enacted.

For VPM News, it completely changed our workplace. With safety limitations on field word, photography became much more difficult. Despite the challenge, it was hard to pare down our list of photos showcasing how COVID-19 changed everything.

With a vaccine on the way, it might be tempting to think of the pandemic as something we're leaving behind in 2020, but current projections show the virus will likely spike in 2021. Until vaccination is widespread, which may occur in the upcoming summer, social distancing and mask wearing are still necessary.

health training
Crixell Matthews/VPM News

The National Guard underwent training to assist healthcare professionals responding to COVID-19, particularly in congregant living situations like nursing homes, reported Megan Pauly.

family chalking
Crixell Matthews/VPM News

Families took to their porches and stoops to chalk messages of support for their neighbors. VPM's Catherine Komp worked with people in our audience to document their lives under the pandemic.

woman with shelter dog
Crixell Matthews/VPM News​​​

Animal adoptions were at a record high as people adjusted to working from home or long-term unemployment, reported Whittney Evans.

Crixell Matthews/VPM News

People protested the dangerous conditions at prisons and jails, where multiple coronavirus outbreaks threatened the lives of incarcerated people.

protesters in car
Crixell Matthews/VPM News

Others protested the state government, echoing comments by Pres. Donald Trump, who told investigative journalist Bob Woodward he tried to downplay the severity of COVID-19, despite knowing the great danger it posed. 

anti-government protesters
Crixell Matthews/VPM News

Anti-government, anti-police protesters who call themselves "boogaloo boys" made violent threats against government officials, and marched with signs calling for the killing of elected officials. A foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revealed plans to kidnap Gov. Northam, too.

Crixell Matthews/VPM News

Local farmers started selling direct to consumers with restaurants closed, even as people began their own home gardening efforts, aided by food resiliency experts like Duron Chavis.

food being given out
Crixell Matthews/VPM News

Food banks across the state struggled to keep up with demand - and health safety practices - as record numbers of people lost their jobs.

medical staff
Crixell Matthews/VPM News

And healthcare workers made rare appeals to the public, asking people to wear masks and treat COVID-19 seriously, as they saw ICU beds fill and were forced to turn away people whose lives weren't in imminent danger.