Who could have predicted on Jan. 1, 2020, that a coronavirus invisible to the human eye would change life for nearly every person on the planet and kill more than a million people? Viruses do not catch God by surprise, but SARS-CoV-2 surprised the world, spreading quietly and rapidly. Its incubation period (up to 14 days) and tendency to infect some people asymptomatically while causing severe COVID-19 or death in others made the virus especially difficult to contain. Also hard to contain: the political and economic debates over virus-fighting measures, including state-mandated lockdowns and mask-wearing. The following images illustrate the tensions the pandemic brought to our lives this year. On Jan. 1, 2021, we’ll ask: How long until the outbreak ends? And hopefully, we’ll pray for mercy.