2020 in Photos: A Look at the Middle Months

SAN JOSE, CA – MAY 29: A protester takes a knee in front of San Jose Police officers during a protest on East Santa Clara Street in San Jose, Calif., on May 29, 2020, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to revisit some of the most memorable events and images of 2020. Events covered in this essay (the second of a three-part photo summary of the year) include the widespread protests against the killing of George Floyd, the realities of the growing coronavirus pandemic, historic flooding across China, locust swarms in Africa, a terrifying explosion in Beirut, and much more. 

As the year comes to a close, it’s time to revisit some of the most memorable events and images of 2020. Events covered in this essay (the second of a three-part photo summary of the year) include the widespread protests against the killing of George Floyd, the realities of the growing coronavirus pandemic, historic flooding across China, locust swarms in Africa, a terrifying explosion in Beirut, and much more.

    • A protester takes a knee in front of San Jose Police Department officers during a protest in San Jose, California, on May 29, 2020, after George Floyd died at the hands of the Minneapolis police. 


    • A man, watched by his cat, marks the days spent in confinement, during the coronavirus pandemic, in his home in Givors, near Lyon, France, on May 5, 2020. 

      Jean-Philippe Ksiazek / AFP / Getty

    • Guests watch Trolls World Tour in the rain at the Four Brothers Drive In Theater in Amenia, New York, on May 15, 2020. 

      John Minchillo / AP

    • Olivia Grant hugs Mary Grace Sileo, her grandmother, through a plastic drop cloth hung up on a homemade clothesline on May 24, 2020, in Wantagh, New York. It was the first time they had had contact of any kind since the coronavirus lockdown started in late February. 

      Al Bello / Getty

    • A protester stands in front of a burning building set ablaze during a demonstration in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 29, 2020, over the killing of George Floyd, who died after Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes. 

      Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty

    • Police officers charge forward as people protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 31, 2020. 

      Samuel Corum / AFP / Getty

    • Ed Ou, an NBC News journalist, bleeds after police started firing tear gas and rubber bullets near a police precinct, following a demonstration that called for justice for George Floyd, on May 30, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

      Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty

    • A protester in an Elmo mask dances during a protest for George Floyd in Philadelphia, on May 30, 2020. 

      Matt Rourke / AP

    • A tanker truck is driven into a large group of protesters marching on Interstate 35W, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 31, 2020, during a protest against the killing of George Floyd. The truck stopped in time, and no injuries were reported among the frightened marchers. The driver, Bogdan Vechirko, was beaten by some in the crowd, then arrested, but shortly released. In October, following an investigation, Vechirko was charged with two felonies for his actions. 

      Eric Miller / Reuters

    • Bridges over the Chicago River remain closed early on a Sunday morning, in Chicago, after a night of unrest and protests over the killing of George Floyd, on May 31, 2020. 

      Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

    • Fireworks thrown by protesters explode near police officers, one block from the White House on May 30, 2020, in Washington, D.C., during a protest over the killing of George Floyd. 

      Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty

    • President Donald Trump poses for a photo while holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Church across from the White House, after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd, on June 1, 2020, in Washington, D.C. 

      Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty

    • Rain falls as Monie Scott raises her fist while people chant around her at a memorial site for George Floyd that was created at the place where he was taken into police custody and later pronounced dead, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 2, 2020. 

      Leah Millis / Reuters

    • Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as demonstrators participate in a peaceful protest on June 2, 2020, in Washington, D.C. 

      Win McNamee / Getty

    • The ballerinas, Kennedy George, 14, and Ava Holloway, 14, pose in front of a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered its removal in Richmond, Virginia, on June 5, 2020. 

      Julia Rendleman / Reuters

    • A man carrying a gun exits a vehicle as Daniel Gregory is tended to by medics after being shot in the arm by a driver who tried to drive through a protest against racial inequality, in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, in Seattle, Washington, on June 7, 2020. Lindsey Wasson, a Reuters photographer, said of the moment: “I had just stepped to the main window of the local newspaper office, and I was looking over the crowd during a Sunday evening protest against police brutality and racism—one of several that had rocked Seattle and other places across the United States since the death of George Floyd—when I heard a scream and commotion. I rushed to the window to photograph what was happening. Stunned protesters surrounded a car that had driven into their ranks. A man brandishing a gun exited the driver’s side of the vehicle and the protesters backed away from him as he ran off and melted into the crowd. Medics rushed forward to help a wounded man lying on the ground nearby. Everything happened very quickly, maybe only a minute or so. It has been very odd to see protests like this in my hometown. What feels different this time is the scale and how sustained it’s been. I’ve never seen it go on for this long, with this extended energy and purpose.” The armed man was later identified as Nikolas Alexander Fernandez, a Seattle resident, who was charged with felony assault after the shooting. 

      Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

    • Protesters participate in a Black Lives Matter rally in Brisbane, Australia, on June 6, 2020. 

      Glenn Hunt / AAP Image / Reuters

    • A woman cries as a horse-drawn carriage carrying the casket with the body of George Floyd passes by in Pearland, Texas, on June 9, 2020. Carlos Barria, a Reuters photographer, said of the picture: “The death of George Floyd triggered a massive wave of nationwide protests demanding justice and police accountability. But it was different this time, covering protests during a global pandemic. Each time we went out on the streets, we had to work hard to assess and minimize the risk. It was very difficult to photograph people’s expressions as they wore masks, but as the horse-drawn carriage bearing Floyd’s casket passed on its way to the cemetery, I heard someone screaming. When I turned, I saw a woman without a face mask on, crying as she held up her phone. I took a few pictures, but only later realized that the carriage was reflected in her phone, capturing all the elements to tell the story within a single frame.” 

      Carlos Barria / Reuters

    • Patrick Hutchinson, a protester, carries a suspected far-right counterprotester who was injured, to safety, near the Waterloo Station during a Black Lives Matter protest in London, England, on June 13, 2020. Dylan Martinez, a Reuters photographer, said: “The crowd parted right in front of me. I was in the right place at the right time, and incredibly lucky from that point of view. A Black protester emerged from the melee, walking briskly toward me, carrying a white man with injuries to his face in a fireman’s lift over his shoulder. The anti-racism protests in London that Saturday had been fluid and unpredictable. After witnessing sporadic, minor clashes between demonstrators and police in Trafalgar Square, I switched attention to nearby Waterloo Bridge, where several hundred anti-racism protesters had gathered. There was a traffic jam going from south to north, but the vibe was good—cars were honking and people were celebrating. The mood quickly turned ugly when they encountered a group of counterprotesters and clashes broke out. I saw a skirmish and someone falling to the ground before the two men appeared through the crowd. Some people shouted out that the assault victim was a member of the far-right. Reuters journalists at the scene said he had been beaten in a skirmish with anti-racism protesters. Patrick Hutchinson has been hailed a hero for carrying the injured man to safety during the scuffle. ‘It was the right thing to do,’ he told Reuters later. ‘We didn’t want the narrative changed and the focus taken away from what we are all fighting for, and that’s true equality.'” 

      Dylan Martinez / Reuters

    • Health workers from the city of Melgaco ride a boat ambulance on their way back after visiting eight families that live without electricity in a small riverside community by the Quara River, in Marajo Island, Brazil, on June 9, 2020. 

      Tarso Sarraf / AFP / Getty

    • Musicians from UceLi Quartet, a string quartet, perform “Crisantemi” by Puccini for an audience of 2,292 plants on the first day after a state of alarm was announced on June 22, 2020, in Barcelona, Spain. The plants were later delivered to 2,292 health-care professionals from the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, accompanied by a certificate from the artist Eugenio Ampudia. 

      Jordi Vidal / Getty

    • Members of the Mississippi Honor Guard lower the state flag at the state capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, on July 1, 2020, a day after a bill that would replace the state flag, which includes a Confederate emblem, was signed into law. 

      Suzi Altman / Reuters

    • A woman from the Turkana tribe walks through a swarm of desert locusts in the village of Lorengippi near the town of Lodwar, Kenya, on July 2, 2020. Throughout the year, some of the worst locust infestations in 70 years affected people living in countries from East Africa to India. 

      Baz Ratner / Reuters

    • In an aerial view from a drone, a large-scale ground mural depicting Breonna Taylor with the text “Black Lives Matter” is seen at Chambers Park in Annapolis, Maryland, on July 5, 2020. The mural was organized by Future History Now in partnership with Banneker-Douglass Museum and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. The painting honors Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by members of the Louisville Metro Police Department in March 2020. 

      Patrick Smith / Getty

    • A Reuters photographer holds a picture of a reveler sprinting in front of a bull at the San Fermin Festival, taken in 2019, while standing in the same spot—an empty street—a year later, after the San Fermin Festival was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Pamplona, Spain, on July 7, 2020. 

      Jon Nazca / Reuters

    • Dr. Joseph Varon, the chief medical officer at United Memorial Medical Center, and a team of health-care workers perform CPR on a COVID-19 patient at UMMC, during the coronavirus outbreak, in Houston, Texas, on July 17, 2020. Callaghan O’Hare, a Reuters photographer, said: “Houston’s COVID-19 cases had been rising for weeks and it was my third time photographing patients in the intensive-care unit. I was following Dr. Varon and his team as they intubated two patients with worsening conditions. The first intubation went smoothly. We walked into the second patient’s room and almost as soon as they began the procedure, his heart rate dropped. The air was filled with anxiety. I was in a corner of the room with my camera and it wasn’t until two medical students jumped onto the bed and began administering chest compressions that I realized the patient was dying. The whole scene took place over the course of 30 minutes as we all nervously watched the clock and his heart rate monitor. Although this patient was surrounded by people while he died, they were faceless doctors in hazmat suits. He wasn’t able to say goodbye to his family, friends, and the people who cared about him. I looked him up later on Facebook, and his profile picture had a filter on it that said, ‘I’m an essential worker, I can’t stay home.’ I often think about him and the likelihood that he contracted the coronavirus at work. I hope his image and his story resonate with people and show why it’s important to wear a mask and stay at home to protect those that can’t.” 

      Callaghan O’Hare / Reuters

    • An aerial view of the Kwanyin Temple in the middle of the flooded Yangtze River on July 24, 2020, in Ezhou, China. The temple, on a rocky island in the river, was first built in 1345, and has collapsed and been rebuilt multiple times. Throughout this past summer, unusually heavy rainfall caused a series of devastating floods across parts of central and southwestern China. Tens of thousands of residents were forced from their homes, and hundreds were killed. 


    • The Phillie Phanatic sits alone in the empty stands during a game between the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 25, 2020, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

      Hunter Martin / Getty

    • Federal-law enforcement officers deploy tear gas to disperse protesters during a demonstration against police violence and racial inequality in Portland, Oregon, on July 30, 2020. 

      Caitlin Ochs / Reuters

    • An aerial view shows the enormous damage at the port’s grain silos and the area around it on August 5, 2020, one day after a massive explosion hit the harbor in the heart of Beirut. The explosion was caused by a fire in a warehouse that had been storing explosive materials, reportedly including 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate. More than 200 deaths and over 6,000 injuries were attributed to the blast. 

      AFP / Getty

    • Thai kindergartners wear face masks as they play in screened-in play areas used for social distancing at the Wat Khlong Toey School on August 10, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. 

      Lauren DeCicca / Getty

    • Damaged grain bins are seen at the Key Cooperative grain elevator on August 11, 2020, in Marshalltown, Iowa, following a severe derecho. The powerful straight-line wind storm spawned 25 tornadoes and drove winds up to 140 miles an hour in some parts of the state. Damage across the region was estimated at $7.5 billion. 

      Daniel Acker / Getty

    • Flames surround Lake Berryessa during the LNU Lightning Complex fire in Napa, California, on August 19, 2020. In 2020, more than 9,000 fires burned across California, scorching nearly 4.4 million acres. 

      Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty

    • Khadjou Sambe, 25, Senegal’s first female professional surfer, surfs during a training session off the coast of Ngor, Dakar, Senegal, on August 18, 2020. 

      Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

    • People take part in a protest against the presidential-election results demanding the resignation of the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, and the release of political prisoners, in Minsk, Belarus, on August 16, 2020. 

      Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

    • A protester, wearing a gas mask, confronts members of the Federal Protective Service during clashes between the alt-right Proud Boys group and Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon, on August 22, 2020. 

      Paula Bronstein / Getty

    • Ellie Goulding, photographed ahead of her performance at the V&A in London, England, on August 26, 2020. The performance was live-streamed for ticket holders during the pandemic. 

      Jennifer McCord via Getty

    • Kimberly Guilfoyle, the National Chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, delivers a prerecorded speech to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention from Washington, D.C., on August 24, 2020. 

      Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

    • Juliana, who said she was four months pregnant, reacts in front of the body of her husband Davi Barboza, who was shot in Sao Carlos, during a police operation after heavy confrontations between drug gangs, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 27, 2020. Ricardo Moraes, a Reuters photographer, said: “About 10 hours into covering clashes between drug gangs battling to take control of the Sao Carlos slums complex in Rio de Janeiro, and a police operation to quell the violence, I found Juliana sobbing in anguish next to the body of her husband Davi, who was found shot dead after the conflict. That day, I was witness to a lot of distressing events—people being taken hostage, heavy shootouts, police chasing gang members, and Juliana’s despair. ‘My husband, he was what he was. But he was a good man,’ Juliana said to me the day after she lost Davi. ‘He was my prince.'” 

      Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

    • President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One as lightning splits the sky during a storm at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, on August 28, 2020. 

      Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty