When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, inewsource focused on producing journalism that could help San Diegans understand their new reality. At a time when so many were isolated from the outside world, visual journalism became a window through which people could see how their community was responding to the changes taking place due to COVID-19.
The pandemic has shaped everything that has followed in 2020.
It laid bare hard truths about inequities and injustice in San Diego County and our country, evidenced by thousands turning out to protest the killing of a Black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis police while Black and brown men and women were also dying in disproportionate numbers from COVID-19.
It affected how election workers carried out their jobs, setting up plexiglass barriers and meticulously preparing polling locations for voters to remain socially distanced. The pandemic heightened fears over the health and safety of our region’s large unhoused population as people were encouraged to shelter in the San Diego Convention Center.
I hope these images offer a clear view of 2020’s harsh realities while allowing us to recognize our shared humanity and resilience.
As local hospitals have worked to increase their capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, San Diego area health clinics have also been forced to transform the way they deliver care. Healthcare providers have changed how they live both at work and at home to keep themselves, their patients, and their family’s safe.
An inewsource analysis done in May revealed that San Diego police during the first months of the pandemic had issued more than twice as many tickets for illegal lodging compared to the same period last year. When asked at news conferences about the ticketing, then-Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city’s goal was not enforcement but encouraging homeless people to move into the convention center.
Nothing captures the impact of the pandemic more than the stories of families who have lost loved ones. Some shared their stories with inewsource, hoping others could learn from their experiences.
Imperial County’s homeless population topped 1,400 in 2019, with all but 200 of those residents unsheltered. In April, three weeks after a pandemic was declared, one charity found 41 of the 72 homeless residents they encountered hadn’t heard of the coronavirus.
As protests occurred around the nation following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, San Diegans also took to the streets. Police used tear gas and other less-lethal weapons to disperse groups of protesters.
To ensure the safety of voters in the November election, San Diego County was forced to make major changes to polling locations and procedures. The Mid-City Gym in City Heights is in a ZIP code that saw the biggest cuts to its number of polling locations in the November election.
Hugs. Who else misses them? When I saw this moment happen — suddenly and to the surprise of San Diego mayoral candidate Todd Gloria — for a second I didn’t think twice about social distancing or the pandemic. I was just so excited to see two people sharing an emotional moment at a campaign event in 2020. San Diego voters cast ballots in a number of important local races, which received millions in contributions from outside money.
As San Diego County prepared to reopen in May following the first stay-at-home order, officials were concerned that a return to normal could devastate communities in the southern part of the county, which saw an influx of cases at that time.
Type of Content
News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.