Image: Amy Vaughn


When the virus first hit, we collectively decided that SARS-CoV-2 didn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Coronavirus rooted itself in our collective vocabulary, but the illness it caused was the defining term of 2020.


The pandemic taught us what we truly need: Groceries. Health care. Transportation. Sure, we scratched our heads over the crucial importance of shooting ranges and cannabis stores, but mostly we learned to appreciate the fundamentals of our society.

Joyful Noise

It began as a one-off; the city’s Office of Arts and Culture spurred an 8pm cheer for health care and other essential workers on March 26. Perhaps nobody expected that it would become a nighttime ritual, the shouts and cowbells and claps echoing every night into summer.


The idea of locking oneself inside for a few months straight seemed an impossible task before we all did it; how well will we undergo two- or three-week spells in the months to come?

Flatten the Curve

2019: Can’t spell epidemiology. 2020: Considers self an amateur epidemiologist. Concepts like exponential growth meant that the best-case scenario was slowing, not stopping, the pandemic; we all learned that it’s never as simple as it looks on TV.

Stay Home, Stay Healthy

Every state seemed to have its own name for a stay-at-home order, something short of a complete lockdown but prohibiting travel, recreation, and all gatherings, large and small. Washington’s slogan was as cheery as a poster on the wall of an elementary school gym. 


As Covid wreaked havoc on respiratory systems, one piece of health care equipment became key. Washingtonians all breathed easier when we learned that our state’s need didn’t overwhelm our supply and could return 400 machines to the Strategic National Stockpile in April.


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