NBC 7 took a video walk down memory lane this week and were occasionally surprised by what interested viewers the most during the news-packed pandemic year -- everything from brush fires to a burning ship to glowing blue waves to stories connected to the coronavirus. Take a look:
‘I Never Threatened Him': Woman Who Shamed Barista Gives Her Side of Story (JUNE 25):
Remember Lenin Gutierrez, the San Diego-based Starbucks barista who refused service to a maskless woman last year? NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda spoke to her in the year's No. 1 video on NBC 7.
SDG&E Worker Fired Over Alleged Racist Gesture (JUNE 16):
The man told NBC 7’s Priya Sridhar he was charged, tried and convicted on social media, and said his employer jumped to conclusions.
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Extending CA Unemployment Services (AUG. 6):
Hundreds of thousands of San Diegans were out of work due to the pandemic and turned to NBC 7 Responds for an explanation of how the extension of benefits would work for people already receiving unemployment benefits.
Confrontation Over Mask Wearing at Carlsbad Nail Salon (JUNE 28):
A second confrontation over face coverings, this one just days later at a Carlsbad nail salon, erupted over a woman not appearing to wear a mask.
Fire Erupts on USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego (JULY 12):
About 160 sailors were aboard the ship at the beginning of the fire, which is currently being investigated as an arson. The blaze burned for days, affecting the air quality for most local residents. The ship was later deemed a total loss.
Protesters Break Through CHP Line, Onto I-8 in La Mesa (MAY 30)
Civil unrest across America sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota the week before spilled over to the streets of La Mesa after a controversial arrest in that East County city. Here’s the moment protesters overwhelmed a California Highway Patrol line.
County Issues Guidelines on Face Masks (APRIL 3):
The wearing of face masks, and whether or not the general population should be wearing them too, seems ordinary now but was strange to most back at the start of the pandemic.
Neon Blue Waves in Encinitas Caused by Bioluminescence (APRIL 27):
Bioluminescence created a brilliant, neon blue glow in Encinitas and up and down the coast in the spring, providing a welcome nighttime distraction for the pandemic. The accompanying stench caused by a red tide, however, was not so welcome.
San Diego Unified Changes Grading Policy (OCT. 15)
The pandemic seemingly changed everything -- including education, with most students spending a year "distance learning."
Valley Fire Burns 9,850 Acres (SEPT. 7):
One thing the coronavirus didn't change: Fire season. The Valley Fire in east San Diego County burned 9,850 acres over Labor Day weekend, eventually charring 17,000 acres.