Masks. Social Distancing. Hand washing. Limit gatherings, Limit travel. Attend school remotely.

The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t the only thing that happened in 2020. It just influenced everything else.

Businesses closed. Well, small businesses. Crowds packing large mega-stores seemed to be safe. A large group of people in church, attending weddings and funerals and family gatherings were being irresponsible and selfish. Traveling across state lines to see family was to spread the virus.

Large gatherings to protest police, to riot, to destroy public monuments, to loot and burn buildings — this, on the other hand, is fine. Perfectly safe. No risk of spreading infection, even when spreading out across the country to participate in protests, riots and vandalism.

The coronavirus has spread so much, we’re told, because people weren’t taking precautions. Which groups were packing the streets in large gatherings night after night, again?

2020. It was that kind of year. Still no underwater cities or flying cars, however.

January

Anthony V. Carter Jr., the Career and Technical Education Department chair at Middle River Middle School, was selected as one of the 2019-20 Teaching Fellows for the Northrup-Gumman Foundation.

The Eastern Technical Robotics team earned a slew of awards in robotics competition. Representing House Davion, no doubt.

Lorraine June Mack, an Essex native, publishes a book of poetry “for the working class.”

February

Two local high school students, Sean Davis of Chesapeake and Carmelli Leal of Eastern Tech, are chosen to participate in the Champions of Children Forum in Washington.

Kimberly Klacik, a Middle River resident, wins the Republican nomination to fill the 7th Congressional District seat left vacant by the passing of Elijah Cummings. She’ll lose to Democrat Kweisi Mfume, who held the seat before stepping down to become president of the NAACP.

Essex and Middle River are ranked among the 50 most affordable beach towns in the United States by a tech company called SmartAsset, which obviously is using the loosest definition of “beach town” one could imagine.

Two teams representing Easter Tech have a good showing at the Baltimore County Physics Olympics. One student, Amanda Nwokoro, advances to the national “Brain Bee.”

March

Eastern Tech math teacher Kim Burton-Regulski wins the 2020 Maryland Outstanding Teacher using Technology Award.

COVID-19,a disease which started in China near the end of 2019 and has been steadily spreading, has its first confirmed case in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County closes schools for two weeks starting on March 13.

Also closed by the county: town hall meetings, CCBC classes, senior center activities, restaurants,

Gov. Larry Hogan issues a “shelter in place” order.

On March 25, Baltimore County Schools says it will remain closed until April 25.

April.

The reopening of county schools is pushed back into May.

May

Mareisha Banga, an Eastern Tech student, advances to the semifinals of the an international art challenge, Science without Borders.

Summoned by residents reporting a large group of people creating a disturbance, a Baltimore County officer responds and sees a vehicle in the parking lot of Skipjack Court strike another vehicle. The driver reportedly drops a handgun as he exits the vehicle, pick it up and flees despite the officer’s order to halt. He is fatally shot by the officer.

Bodycam footage released a few months later does appear to show the driver dropping a handgun to the ground and retrieving it as the officer tells him to stop.

Bengies Drive-In is allowed to open during the pandemic.

June

Brian Powell, Kenwood High, and Kelly O’Connell, Mars Estates Elementary School, were named principals of the Year by Baltimore County.

During a remote class using Google Meet, two teachers and a parent spot BB guns in the room of a Seneca Elementary student and call the police. Police respond to the house, and determine no laws have been broken. County school system fails to come up with any coherent reason as to why police were summoned over BB guns in a private residence.

A racially-tinged joke posted on Facebook leads to protesters outside of Vince’s Crab House in Middle River. Owner offers a discount on crabs; protestors say they want the business closed, yet present no evidence showing residents of area ceded to them the authority to make that decision.

July

Protests continue outside Vince’s Crab House. Owners threaten lawsuit against Baltimore County and County Executive John Olszewski Jr. for allegedly ordering police not to arrest protesters harassing the business.

Former State Sen. Pat McDonough joins the Crab House saga, on the side of the the crab house. Owners also file lawsuit against protesters, alleging they have been threatened and assaulted.

Protesters, still insisting crab house must close, reach 50-day mark of vigil and learn they shouldn’t lock themselves into demands they cannot enforce.

August

Essex Day cancelled.

County schools will use remote learning until start of second semester on Feb. 1.

Campaign video by Kim Klacik goes viral. nationally. It won’t help[ her in general election against Kweisi Mfume.

September

Protests at Vince’s Crab House reach 100 days.

Students of Our Lady of Mount Carmel return to classes, without incident.

November

There is an election. Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden wins. So does 2nd District Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

December

As of December 28, Baltimore County has 37,828 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 309 confirmed deaths attributed to the virus.

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