2020: The year in pictures

A global pandemic, rising social justice movement, City Hall scandal and climate-changing fires made for truly unforgettable days and months

Yes, 2020 was a year unlike any other in San Francisco in recent memory, and one we won’t soon forget, no matter how hard we may try.

In the Before Times, aka January through early March, The City was in the midst of the unfolding scandal surrounding disgraced former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, a story that has continued to play out as more embroiled players get their day in court.

Former San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, pictured leaving an appearance in federal court in February, is at the center of an ever-growing City Hall corruption scandal. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Former San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, pictured leaving an appearance in federal court in February, is at the center of an ever-growing City Hall corruption scandal. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Life as we knew it changed in March as fears of the spread of COVID-19 led Mayor London Breed to shut down The City on the advice of health professionals. That led to panic buying that cleared store shelves of basic necessities and nearly emptied city streets in the first days of shelter-in-place.

A woman shops in a nearly empty aisle for toilet paper inside Safeway on March 16 after San Francisco and five other Bay Area counties ordered people to stay at home to slow the spread the coronavirus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A woman shops in a nearly empty aisle for toilet paper inside Safeway on March 16 after San Francisco and five other Bay Area counties ordered people to stay at home to slow the spread the coronavirus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The Powell cable car turnaround was deserted on the first day of the lockdown in March. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The Powell cable car turnaround was deserted on the first day of the lockdown in March. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Physician’s assistant Michael Mallatt swabs a patient at a drive-through coronavirus joint testing site for One Medical and University of California, San Francisco at the UCSF Laurel Heights campus on March 27. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Physician’s assistant Michael Mallatt swabs a patient at a drive-through coronavirus joint testing site for One Medical and University of California, San Francisco at the UCSF Laurel Heights campus on March 27. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Anger brought people out of their homes to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd and other Black victims of police violence after a video showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd’s death brought Black Lives Matter and movements for racial justice to the forefront for good.

A woman holds bows her head in prayer at a rally to commemorate the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside City Hall on June 1. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A woman holds bows her head in prayer at a rally to commemorate the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside City Hall on June 1. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A San Francisco police officer takes a knee in solidarity with protesters outside Mission Police Station to honor George Floyd and other Black people killed by police on June 3. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A San Francisco police officer takes a knee in solidarity with protesters outside Mission Police Station to honor George Floyd and other Black people killed by police on June 3. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Another intense fire season swept through over the summer, with smoke choking the skies for weeks at a time and turning the sky an apocalyptic shade of orange one unforgettable day as numerous fires burned hundreds of thousands of acres in surrounding Bay Area counties.

A truly surrealistic orange haze covered San Francisco and the Bay Area on Sept. 9. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

A truly surrealistic orange haze covered San Francisco and the Bay Area on Sept. 9. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Construction workers lunched along The Embarcadero under an orange haze on Sept. 9, the day the sun didn’t come up. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Construction workers lunched along The Embarcadero under an orange haze on Sept. 9, the day the sun didn’t come up. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

After the nation watched as votes were counted in numerous tense days following Election Day in November, thousands gathered in the Castro and other spots around The City to dance and celebrate after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. It was a much-needed day of exuberance, a bright spot in a very difficult year.

Jubilant people hit the street to celebrate Joe Biden winning the presidential election. (Samantha Laurey/Special to S.F Examiner)

Jubilant people hit the street to celebrate Joe Biden winning the presidential election. (Samantha Laurey/Special to S.F Examiner)

After waiting for days, people danced upon hearing the results of the 2020 presidential election. (Samantha Laurey/Special to S.F Examiner)

After waiting for days, people danced upon hearing the results of the 2020 presidential election. (Samantha Laurey/Special to S.F Examiner)

What does it take to build a skyscraper in S.F.?

Engineering to protect against earthquakes, wind vortexes and, of course, sinking

I voted for Barry Bonds to get into the Hall of Fame. Here’s why it didn’t matter

Giants star falls short in his 10th and final season of standard eligibility

San Francisco’s universal health care may soon become redundant

‘Why should The City pay for health care if their residents can get it from the state?’