It’s Monday. The past 12 months were more than just Year 2 of the pandemic. Plus, the legacy of Joan Didion.
As in so much of the world, 2021 in California began with misery.
During the first two months of the year, more people were dying of Covid-19 every day in California than at any other point in the pandemic. Vaccinations had begun, yet it was difficult to imagine a reprieve from the oppressive fear.
But, even with the latest surge, 2021 has turned out to be far more than just Year 2 of the pandemic.
The stunningly effective immunizations allowed us to claw back a more normal “new normal.” In 2021, many of us went back to school, back to offices, back to dinner dates, back to birthday parties and weddings and hugs and movie theaters and vacations.
The pandemic refused to go quietly, and non-coronavirus-related tragedies played out across the state. So while the year was sometimes still terrible, it also had moments that were wonderful.
Here are 10 images from 2021 in our state:
There was no escaping the pandemic. The coronavirus has so far claimed the lives of more than 76,300 Californians since early 2020.
Here, a son bade goodbye to his father in an intensive-care unit in Los Angeles.
Once a coronavirus testing site, Dodgers Stadium became one of the country’s biggest locations for Covid-19 vaccination.
Thousands of students and teachers returned to classrooms in the fall after more than a year of online instruction. Here, kindergartners in Fresno awaited recess.
Thirteen undocumented immigrants died in March near the Mexico border when a big rig slammed into an S.U.V. crammed with more than two dozen people.
At a vigil at the site of the accident in Imperial Valley, mourners held crosses with the victims’ names.
An effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom was defeated in a landslide, a victory viewed as a referendum on his Covid-19 policies.
Californians found joy within their pandemic confines: Fans of the San Diego Padres danced on the sidewalk after the team defeated the Dodgers at Petco Park in April.
The Dixie Fire, which began in July, burned more than a million acres in Northern California and became the second largest fire in state history.
While the Caldor Fire, pictured here, didn’t grow quite as large, it destroyed more than 1,000 buildings as it ravaged more populated parts of the state over the summer.
Through the ebbs and flows of pandemic life, Californians in 2021 were forced to grow more resilient.
At a beach in Malibu, the pro surfer Hunter Jones faced the waves, ready to confront whatever was next.
What we’re eating
A soup that tastes like being home for the holidays.
Where we’re traveling
Today’s travel tip comes from Antonio Miguel, who recommends The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens:
“Located in the city of San Marino, just south of Pasadena, it’s a wonderful place to walk and see great works of art including paintings and sculptures. It requires advanced reservation for admission.”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.