The Year in Pictures 2020: My World 5 Minutes Before Sunrise

The Year in Pictures: 5 Minutes Before Sunrise
Communicate with Cups
Castaic Elementary School students post a message in red cups in the chain link fence as schools go to remote learning to finish the school year as COVID-19 becomes a reality.
Late for School
The quiet of a stay-at-home world brings out a family of foxes crossing Hillcrest Parkway headed towards Castaic Elementary School.
Walking through DTW
An empty Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) as travel begins to shut down due to the Novel Coronavirus in late March 2020.
Dam Walkers
Early during the pandemic, I'd drive over to the Castaic Recreation Center and walk near two large metal outlets for Castaic Dam.
Cause and Effect
After the George Floyd murder, economic and political pressures from the pandemic's politicization and inflammatory statements found White men stopping their vehicles along to road to stare at me.
Tiny Bubbles
It never rains in Southern California but when it does sudsy runoff appears near a storm drain along Hillcrest Parkway.

These images represent change. In 2020, due to this novel thing aptly titled the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, I was forced to become reacquainted with an old friend — the hill outside my bedroom window — for exercise and peace of mind. Pictorially, these images begin the moment COVID-19 became real for me when I took an unplanned midweek trip back to Michigan to pick up my son from college.

Before construction had reached the top of Hillcrest Parkway, my father-in-law would walk up mornings when we moved up here over twenty years ago and I thought he was mad — hiking up a busy street seemed so dull! But now, all these years later, I look forward to getting in touch with my mind and body each morning a few minutes before the sun creeps above the eastern horizon.

Here is what I saw with some backstory captions on what I was thinking when I snapped each image.

Morning glory, morning story

In late March, I had heard that there was a possibility that the airport and Los Angeles would be closed to inbound and outbound traffic due to the Coronavirus. Talking with my wife we called my son with the news (he didn’t want to believe it) and broke the news. In addition, I asked my boss for time off and scheduled the red-eye to Michigan a few days later.

Upon return, we were greeted by an empty airport triggering the following drastic changes for me:

  • My office was closed and now all work would be done remotely (still continues through this day);
  • Regular workouts in the office gym were canceled because we were working remotely;
  • Twice-weekly sessions at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Cardio-Rehab Center were temporarily canceled as the hospital staff grappled with a surge in patients; and
  • I’d have to stop walking at Central Park because to avoid close contact with others based on initial stay-at-home orders (being a heart disease patient).

2020 was difficult, shocking, and something unbelievable. These images helped me get through it and I hope you enjoy them.

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