Oh, what a year it was. If you had written a movie pitch for 2020, few people would have bought it. Too far-fetched, they'd say. Not possible. After a sunny New Year's Day when thousands gathered at East Hampton's Main Beach to dive into the ocean or watch others do so at the annual polar plunge, the year took a decidedly different turn.
Hints of trouble could be found in news from abroad early in the year. By early February, the flu season was shaping up to be a bad one, and then the novel coronavirus arrived, rewriting every plotline. Schools were closed, then court buildings, and government offices, then restaurant dining rooms, then all nonessential business. Grocery store shelves emptied, hospitals grappled with a surge of cases, friends and loved ones were lost, funerals canceled, weddings and graduations postponed and remade.
People found refuge in the outdoors and city-dwellers flocked to the East End, creating a real estate boom. Demonstrators here took up the Black Lives Matter message, staging rallies of a size not seen on the East End in recent memory. Beaches opened, but to residents only, bringing a sense of normalcy. In September, schools reopened with new protocols in place, though many students continued remote schooling at least some days of the week. East Hampton Village got a new mayor and two new village board members. The United States elected a new president.
It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some that remind us of the stories of 2020.