Yes, there was good news in 2020 too

Alexa Capelli sings at a weekly neighborhood gathering in Upland.
Alexa Capelli, 20, entertains in her Upland neighborhood where residents get together weekly for socially distanced gatherings during the pandemic.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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It wasn’t all bad.

The year had moments of virus-inspired kindness: Musicians staged porch concerts, animal shelters saw more dog and cat adoptions. There was invention: With movies and TV shows stalled for a time, costumers sewed face masks. And there was silliness: Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci on “Saturday Night Live.”

Namiko Ishii-Danganan, with daughters Miya and Ami Ishii, and Sky the pit bull.
Namiko Ishii-Danganan, center, with daughters Miya, left, and Ami Ishii, are fostering Sky, a year-old blue-nose pit bull, at their Downey home.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

It was the year an 85-year-old man, forced to leave USC a few units shy of graduation because of financial trouble, was able to complete his degree 64 years late. In Highland Park, patrons of a beloved elotero — a corn vendor — flocked to say farewell when word spread that he was returning to Mexico to marry his school sweetheart.

Andres Santos, 59,  with his daughter Andrea Santos, 30.
Andres Santos, 59, an elotero — a street corn vender — with his daughter Andrea Santos. He is leaving Highland Park after more than 20 years and is returning to Mexico to start over.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The always financially struggling Homeboy Industries, which has helped so many leave the gang life, received $2.5 million from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Manna from heaven, indeed.

And who could have guessed our delight with MSNBC’s Steven Kornacki and CNN’s John King, who dazzled us with their command of charts showing election results? A new word was born too: chartthrobs.

Smiles have been few, but we’ve had some. This month a family in Australia came home to discover a koala perched in their plastic Christmas tree. A viral, skateboarding TikTok star tripled sales of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

Melissa Acedera distributes meals and supplies to one of her contacts, Harvey, on Olvera Street
Polo’s Pantry LA founder Melissa Acedera distributes meals and supplies to one of her contacts, Harvey, on Olvera Street.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

And from the natural world came a reminder that life goes on. Israeli researchers celebrated the harvest of dates produced by palms grown from seeds recovered from archeological sites. The seeds were more than 2,000 years old. The dates were likened in taste to honey.

Even in 2020, something sweet.