An Incomplete Timeline of the Moments I Remember From 2020

A lot of stuff happened this year. I’m not going to remember most of it. Here’s what I do remember.
Jason's head
Aaron Gordon

December 17: It snowed more last night than all of last year. We go to the park to hear the creaking of fresh snow under our boots. I take a picture.

Snowy bridge prospect park brooklyn

Photo: Aaron Gordon

December 12: The sale shelf at the Target entrance contains thousands of bottles of discounted hand sanitizer.

November 20: I tell my family we can't come for Thanksgiving. My parents say they understand.

November 7: I'm cleaning the bathroom. I hear several honks and cheers. We go outside. The bar down the street is handing out glasses of champagne. People are dancing in the streets. I take a picture.

Trump loss celebrations

Photo: Aaron Gordon

November 15: I cancel my gym membership.

November 3: I tell my family we're coming for Thanksgiving. My parents say they can't wait to see us.

October 10: I attend a Zoom wedding.

September 12: I go to the gym. The man working out next to me has his mask around his chin. 

September 9: A friend in eastern Oregon texts me that all the roads to the coast have been closed. The fire hasn't reached her yet.

August: All of the pictures I take this month are of my cat. Here is one of them.

Harriet the cat

Harriet the cat and her new food ball. Photo: Aaron Gordon

July 25: I'm driving in Connecticut. A light is out. A police officer is conducting traffic. He waves us through and I thank him. "Don't defund me," he says.

June 22: I go on vacation with my family. A violent thunderstorm rolls through. Afterwards, there's a spectacular sunset. I take a picture.


Photo: Aaron Gordon

June 14: I watch someone walk straight from a protest into a CityMD to get a COVID test, as if it was all one motion.

June 11: The fireworks start early this year.

June 9: The straps on my third and fifth masks break. I don't bother to replace them. 

June 6: I don't go to my niece's birthday party. I have a fight with my family about it.

June 4: A protest marches in Brooklyn clogging traffic on Atlantic Avenue. A driver gets out of her car. “I get what you all are doing and I support it, but I have somewhere to be,” she says. Minutes later, the protest makes a hole for an ambulance with sirens blazing. I take a picture.

Arguing about a protest

Photo: Aaron Gordon

June 4: A man is fishing by the boathouse in Prospect Park while his young son leans against him. I take a picture.

Father and boy fishing in park

Photo: Aaron Gordon

June 2: It is a beautiful late spring evening. The police have closed Manhattan. There is one person other than me in Bryant Park. I feel like Cillian Murphy at the beginning of 28 Days Later except all the windows are boarded up. I bike down the middle of Sixth Avenue. I chase protests by following the echo of chants in the skyscraper canyons. Police on a bullhorn announce if we aren't home by sunset we will be arrested.

June 2: A woman wearing a mask and sunglasses stands next to the Staples in Union Square. The windows are boarded up. A laminated sign reads: "WE ARE OPEN." I take a picture.

Woman wearing mask next to a boarded up Staples

Photo: Aaron Gordon

May 30: A police officer charges at me. I think he is going to hit me. I freeze. He runs past me and hits someone else. 

May 26: Realizing I am going to have to wear something over my face for the foreseeable future, I decide it's time to stop wearing bandanas and buy a real mask.

May 16: I pass a line of people near the Barclays Center waiting for a food bank to open. The line goes on for blocks and blocks. I never see the end.

April 26: I text my dad "Funeral home at the corner was loading coffins into a Uhaul today."

April 7: My favorite bagel shop re-opens. 

April 3: We have our first all-video chat meeting for work. For some reason, I take a picture.

Hangouts meeting

Photo: Aaron Gordon

March 17: My local cafe tapes a sign to the door: "Due to Order of the Mayor, the dining room is closed. Takeout and delivery only. Thank you for your business."


March 14: I don't go to my nephew's birthday party. 

March 11: Every politician precedes each announcement by saying "out of an abundance of caution." I write "It is not 28 Days Later with Cillian Murphy walking down empty streets. There’s life out here." 

March 9: I see my coworkers in the office for the last time. A group of friends decide to postpone a vacation upstate. We tentatively reschedule for the late summer. 

March 8: I am washing my hands at the gym for the duration of the happy birthday song.

March 7: I hear the phrase "social distancing" for the first time.

March 5: I eat indoors at a restaurant with friends. 

March 2: I cancel dinner with a friend even though I'm pretty sure I just have a cold.

February 29: I stop at a Five Guys outside Rochester on my way home from a work trip to Buffalo. Teens at the table next to me are gossiping about a love triangle at school I can't keep track of. Flurries begin to fall. I consider taking a picture, but there's nothing special about sitting in a Five Guys eating a hamburger I'll want to remember.

February 20: Someone at my wife's work just got back from vacation in Milan.

February 6: I go to the local jerk chicken joint to grab dinner. The TV above the counter says the president was acquitted by the Senate. 

January 16: We fly to San Diego to visit my in-laws. It is my first time visiting them. We promise to see them again soon.

January 6: I go out to dinner with a large group of friends. When we leave, we pile into the elevator together. We're laughing. I take a picture.