The Canceled Year: Our 2020 Year in Review Issue

I thought my business partner was nuts. 

David Eliot sat in the chair next to my desk in the back corner of the Pulse office as the rest of our paper’s staff churned out work from the desks around us. He lifted his eyes from what he was reading on his phone and asked, “So, what do you think this virus is going to mean for the Half Marathon?”

“Nothing,” I told him. “It’s overblown.” 

It was not the last time I would be terribly wrong in the months ahead. We ended up canceling the Door County Half Marathon and every other event we had planned for 2020. A month later, the bustle of our office was quiet, as just David and I worked from our desks. We worked with our incredible staff to reimagine this paper on the fly when the story of COVID-19 devoured many of our resources and consumed the attention of those we had left. We were both engulfed by the story that was also crushing the lives of our neighbors and friends, and trying to tell that difficult story for them at the same time. 

This pandemic year brought out some of the worst in our community online, in letters to the editor and in person. Too often we displayed a sad dearth of empathy for those who feared for their health and the health of loved ones, and for those who feared for their future and their livelihoods. 

In the pages of this, our 2020 Year in Review issue, you’ll see the story of this year unfold, from the days in February when a congressman could visit the county and COVID-19 was a blip on the radar, to a month later, when seemingly every story had a pandemic-related angle. From days when we were told not to wear masks, to days when it became clear that masks were our best defense against the spread of the pandemic.

You’ll see reminders of stories that will frustrate you all over again, and ones you missed that will anger you for the first time. But you will also see stories of people reaching out, lending a hand and doing things large and small to make days easier for those in need.

Delivering food. Sewing masks. Reimagining business operations to make them safe. Sacrificing dollars for health. Making sacrifices. Hunkering down in respect for doctors and nurses. Fighting for their neighbors. 

The pandemic forced us to reshape this paper, but it also forced us to expand, delivering the Peninsula Pulse to every mailbox in Door County for the first time, and printing more copies than ever before. We hope we made you think, made you laugh and introduced you to new friends. And we hope we kept you informed and helped you navigate a year like no other. 

Thank you for reading. Here’s to getting started on 2021, and a year in review next year that looks much different from this one. 

We’ll bring you more from our Year in Review issue each day from now until the end of the year. Look for them each morning in Pulse Picks. The full issue will hit mailboxes and newsstands Wednesday, Dec. 23.