Extraordinary photos of the year so far: protests, pandemic, and wildfires

COVID-19 is still with us—but photos published so far this year show us how life goes on, for better and for worse.

Alena Battle of Charlotte, North Carolina, holds her son, Tamaj Bulloch, during the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” Commitment March in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 2020. The event, on the 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, honored the original protest while emphasizing the work still to be done, especially for police and criminal justice reform.
Photograph by Joshua Rashaad McFadden, National Geographic

“It was important to me that I become part of history,” said Schcola Chambers of Miami, Florida, who joined the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” march protesting for racial justice in Washington, D.C., this past August. This has certainly been a year for making history—for those who are actively protesting for change, for those fighting or fleeing the wildfires raging through the West, and for our entire global population still firmly in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. Images of this year range from tragic to inspiring: funerals for COVID-19 victims, pilgrims taking selfies in India, drones capturing never-before-seen views of Mount Everest, and essential workers still risking their health and their lives to treat us when we are sick and to keep food on our plates.

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