PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — So many of you are counting the moments before we can put 2020 behind us.

Maybe it hasn’t been your favorite year, but its impact will be with us for some time: 12 months composed of teachable moments.

The images that comprise this year are etched into our collective consciousness. Like a storm that swept the globe, 2020 descended upon humanity through earth, wind, and fire.

We saw a record Atlantic hurricane season stretch so many weary souls to the brink, while we battled with a worldwide virus.

Coronavirus was the super-spreader event of our lifetime — infecting every corner of the globe. We donned masks at the behest of experts, cleared our event calendars, and kept our distance, and in doing so, killed off thousands of businesses. COVID-19 took away lives and dreams.

What was once leisure became isolation, until a summer boiled over on the streets. Those sworn to protect came under attack following the death of a Black man from Minneapolis at the hands of four police officers. We had peaceful demonstrations for change, but riots and wanton destruction marred the message. 2020 became a daily distress call.

Citizens divided carried their angst to the voting booth, with many deciding to mail ballots in. The final vote count left an absence of trust of those we count on and deepened the partisan divide.

2020 turned us upside down.

But our struggle against a 100-year pandemic revealed daily bursts of strength in Hampton Roads and beyond.

Delivery drivers, store clerks, nurses, doctors, police officers: They couldn’t work from home. Someone had to hold the line. And they did.

We survived contentious battles spread over a year many would love to see pass from memory.

But maybe 2020 further defined our character and taught us to value what we often take for granted: the sheer power of human contact, and a longing for new light.