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Best of The Indy: Our favorite photos from 2021

The Nevada Independent Staff
The Nevada Independent Staff

It was a year filled with wild expectations before it even began.

After the pandemic emerged in 2020, people around the world looked to the change in calendar year as sign of better things to come. COVID-19 vaccines rolled out of factories and into people's arms, giving hope that the world could start to contain the highly transmissible virus that had sickened and killed far too many.

But the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol served as a grave reminder of the political polarization gripping our nation, and the threat that poses to democracy. Public discord over mask mandates, vaccine rules and teachings about race played out — sometimes in ugly fashion — at school board and local government meetings.

Meanwhile, the pandemic-era economy continued to puzzle casual observers as home prices soared, companies struggled to find workers and the rising cost of goods and food became fodder in everyday conversations. New COVID-19 variants also stoked fresh concerns about the longevity of the pandemic and its health and economic consequences.

In a nutshell, 2021 was not the back-to-normal year many envisioned. Instead, a new normal took root, with glimpses of prepandemic life here and there: children back in brick-and-mortar classrooms, families enjoying holidays together and people returning to concerts and sporting events.

The Nevada Independent photographers captured the rollercoaster emotions that came to define this year. As we bid 2021 goodbye, take a journey through their camera lenses:

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