Hopeful Images From 2020

This has been a year like no other, and moments of joy were difficult to come by. The few happy events that took place did so despite harrowing circumstances—or, in many cases, as a response to overwhelming adversity. Health-care workers took on enormous burdens, saved countless lives, and earned the gratitude and admiration of millions. Celebrations and public events were modified for safety, but many still took place. And new vaccines against COVID-19 are starting to roll out. I have made it an annual tradition, after rounding up the often painful “news photos of the year,” to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past 12 months—an effort to seek out and recognize some of the abundant joy and kindness present in the world around us, even in the midst of a truly awful year. The following are images from the past year of personal victories, families and friends at play, expressions of love and compassion, volunteers at work, or simply small and pleasant moments.

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