The past year failed to close the book on the COVID-19 pandemic, even as many Clark County residents received vaccines. We all tried to adjust to this “new normal” of mask wearing and weighing infection risk as we navigated daily life.
That was true for us in The Columbian’s photo department, too. Photographing a community masked up created its own challenges. We photojournalists try to capture facial expressions that convey the story. If everyone is wearing a mask, that’s harder to do. We had to adjust to fluctuating social-distancing and mask requirements, which made the moments we photographed less dynamic and natural. Wearing masks while working also created logistical problems as our camera viewfinders fogged.
Nevertheless, we captured compelling images of pivotal moments in 2021, like when students were able to go back to the classroom with virus precautions in place. Or when high school basketball players wore masks when they were finally able to return to action on the court. Or when parents of Hudson’s Bay High School seniors hosted a pop-up prom outside at Marshall Park so students didn’t have to miss the time-honored tradition for a second year.
As we head into 2022 under the looming threat of the omicron variant, we continue to work and live in a state of limbo. Life is not back to normal quite yet. We look forward to joining our readers in the new year, documenting the next chapter of Clark County’s history as it unfolds.