Goodbye, 2021: A look back at the year that was

Hawaii Army National Guard medic Kelsea Shiosaki administers a COVID vaccine Nov. 23 at Old Kona Airport Park. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Protesters wave signs at Old Kona Airport Park Nov. 23 where a free vaccine clinic was taking place. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Vaccinated individuals wait 15 minutes after receiving their dose in May at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium in Kailua-Kona. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Kona Community Hospital Chief Nurse Executive Diane Hale administers a COVID-19 vaccine to 12-year-old Conlan Okagi in May at Kekuaokalani Gym. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

Kupuna and essential workers wait in line for their vaccine at West Hawaii Community Health Center's second walk up vaccine clinic in March at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Nona Jin Duggan, RN behavioral health, administers the first of two doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to Russ Starkey Jan. 21 at Kona Community Hospital. It was the first day the hospital administered vaccines to those 75 and older. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Parker Ranch partnered with The Food Basket for the nonprofit’s 152nd Ohana Food Drop with a special paniolo treat for the North Hawaii community on July 2 in lieu of the legacy ranch holding its annual Fourth of July rodeo. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Vehicles line up June 19 ahead of the start of The Food Basket's Ohana Food Drop at Old Kona Airport Park in Kailua-Kona. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

A U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter picks up water from a tank along Old Saddle Road to douse hotspots on the southern flank of the 40,000-plus-acre blaze Aug. 3. Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today

A Hawaii Fire Department tanker sprays down hotspots Aug. 3 near Donald Morgan's home in South Kohala. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

A woman walks her dog at Waimea District Park Aug. 1 as a large wildland fire that broke out above Mana Road on Friday continues to burn. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Owners of horses evacuated Waikoloa Stables from Waikii Ranch as the fire threatened that community July 31 are loaded Aug. 1 following a mandatory evacuation order for Waikoloa Village. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Vehicles were backed up Waikoloa Road after a mandatory evacuation was ordered as a wildland fire approached the Waikoloa Village area Aug. 1. A second emergency route was later opened from Hulu Street to Queen Kaahumanu Highway to provide residents another way out of the South Kohala Town. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Vehicles exit Aug. 1 from an emergency route opened from Hulu Street in Waikoloa Village to Queen Kaahumanu Highway to provide residents another way out of the South Kohala Town. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

U.S. Army resources from the Pohakuloa Training Area, including four UH-60 Blackhawks and one CH-47 Chinook, assisted in the effort to douse the Big Island's largest wildland fire in history by providing water drops as seen here on Aug. 1. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Visitors take videos and watch lava fountain from the viewing spot at the Keanakako'i overlook at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

A guest checks in King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel in March. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

On Christmas Day, Animal Control officers were hard at work responding to a 5 a.m. call of an injured dog in lower Puna. The Hawaii Police Department assumed hands-on management animal control services on July 1, following years of contracts with Hawaii Island Humane Society and a short-lived contract with Hawaii Rainbow Rangers that was terminated amid a number of concerns, including alleged mismanagement of county funds, months-long delay into transition into full services, substandard facilities maintenance, unfinished reports and staff retention issues. (Hawaii Police Department/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Observatories on Maunakea. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

As we bid a perhaps not-so-fond farewell to 2021, the novel coronavirus pandemic continued to be the most important story of the year, as it had been in 2020 — locally, statewide, nationally and worldwide.