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It certainly has been one of — if not the — toughest of years for Larimer County.
Here’s a look at the Top 10 Coloradoan photographs that sum up this historic year.
Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 began early in the pandemic
Larimer County confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in early March, bringing the largest human health crisis in modern history to our doorstep. Drive-thru testing stations began popping up, initially for first responders and then for the general public.
Health care workers became hometown heroes
As soon as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the nation, an outpouring of support for health care workers flooded the country. From signs and clapping videos to Colorado’s 8 p.m. howls, Coloradans thanked those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.
COVID-19 claimed lives in Northern Colorado
Weld County lost Saul Sanchez, the first Greeley JBS employee to die of complications of COVID-19, on April 7, 2020. Sanchez was a longtime employee of the meat packing plant.
As of Tuesday, more than 400 residents of Larimer and Weld counties have died from complications of COVID-19 infection, according to state health department data.
The police killing of George Floyd sparked public outrage
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing racial tensions and civil unrest boiled over with the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. Protests and riots broke out all over the country, including Denver.
In Fort Collins, hundreds gathered in Old Town Square to join a nationwide outcry for police reform and show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Cameron Peak Fire grew to the largest wildfire in Colorado history
The flames of the Cameron Peak Fire ignited on Aug. 13, 2020. The historic blaze grew to become the largest wildfire in Colorado state history. The fire burned 208,913 acres over 112 days before it was finally fully contained.
The East Troublesome Fire prompted the evacuation of Estes Park
In addition to the raging Cameron Peak Fire, the historic East Troublesome Fire also grew, almost overnight, to be the second largest wildfire in Colorado history. When the flame front unexpectedly jumped the Continental Divide, the city of Estes Park was placed under evacuation. Traffic crawled along U.S. Highway 34 as residents flooded out of Big Thompson Canyon.
Remote learning forces students, parents, schools and community organizations to adapt
As the pandemic, social unrest and wildfires stretched into fall, kids prepared to head back to class. After in-class learning stopped in mid-March, many had high hopes for the fall. However, Poudre School District and Thompson School District announced that they would start the school year in 100% remote learning and continue remote learning at least through the first quarter of the year.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election
For the first time in U.S. history, Americans cast their ballots for the next President of the United States amid a global health pandemic. With mail-in ballots at an all-time high, Americans waited anxiously over four days for reporting totals to trickle in. When Democratic candidate Joe Biden was declared the presumptive winner, street parties erupted in major cities across the nation.
Colorado celebrated its first COVID-19 vaccine
Finally, more than nine months after Larimer County confirmed their first case of coronavirus, it was vaccine day. Kevin Londrigan, a respiratory therapist at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, received Colorado’s first COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Dec. 14. While that achievement was certainly a milestone, the nationwide vaccine rollout is still expected to take several months.
See more photos from 2020 in this gallery:
Bethany Baker is a visual journalist with the Coloradoan. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.