Last year, I rounded out 2020 by reflecting on those I had lost during that first year of the pandemic.

This year, it seems appropriate to reflect on those at great risk.

Most of them are journalists. It’s been a rough year for the news-gathering profession.

Please take a moment, as the year winds down, to think about some of these folks.

People like:

•Kyaw Phyo Tha and Kyaw Zwa Moe at The Irrawaddy in Myanmar. KPT and KZM were the guys I reported to during a nine-month post-retirement period when I did some copyediting for the English language version of the independent news website.

That was a gig that began in August 2020 as something of a lark on my part. On Feb. 1, everything changed when the military launched a coup, arresting the legitimately elected president Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suddenly the copy I was editing turned grim. For a couple of months, I found myself editing the daily death count, tallying civilians who had lost their lives during their resistance to military rule.

Eleven months later, the coup plotters still do not have control of the country. A shadow government has formed and found a degree of recognition internationally. And a “Peoples Defense Force” continues to conduct a guerilla war against those in uniform.

If the success of a coup is measured by how well it takes control, this coup was a failure. But the situation on the ground — as muddled as it is bloody — shows no sign of reaching a resolution.

And KPT and KZM? They are in hiding. Somewhere. Perhaps in Myanmar. Perhaps in exile.

They still manage to update the website on a regular basis with sound reporting. But every day they run the risk of arrest or execution.

•Yulia Slutskaya, founder of Press Club Belarus, has been somewhat more fortunate.

She was arrested, along with her son Pyotr, a year ago last week on trumped up charges.

But in August this year, she was released after eight months in pre-trial detention.

Since then, she’s been pretty much under the radar. It’s not clear whether she is even still in Belarus.

We met in 2005 when I worked with a bunch of Belarusian journalists, including members of her staff. We hit it off, and I had a memorable dinner with her husband, her son and one of her reporters in the family apartment.

A few years after that, she founded Press Club, an effort to bring reporters, business people and civil society representatives together.

That, of course, was a threat to Alexander Lukanshenka, Europe’s last dictator.

The last thing any dictator wants is for people to be gathering together to discuss independently the future of their nation.

After Yulia’s release, I have lost track of her. It’s unclear whether she could be hauled in again by the authorities. It’s not even clear — to me at least — whether she is still in the country.

Many of the leaders of Lukashenka’s opposition have left Belarus entirely.

And that brings me to:

•Andrei Aliaksandrau. He and I also met in 2005, first at a seminar for the International Center for Journalists that was held in Warsaw, Poland, then in his hometown of Novapolatsk in the northeast of Belarus and finally in a second seminar in Minsk where I was attempting to train journalists to become trainers of other journalists.

That was 16 years ago, and Andrei was an irreverent, funny and sometimes boisterous kid.

Since then, he not only continued to build a career in journalism but lived and worked in the United Kingdom, studying at the University of Westminster. He returned to his home country to become a manager and deputy director of Belarusian Private News Agency (BelaPan).

He was arrested on Jan. 12, accused of assisting anti-Lukashenka protests by paying the fines of those who had been detained.

The charge he faces: High treason. The penalty: Up to 15 years in prison.

The last I heard from Andrei was at the end of September when a letter he wrote to a friend was published on the internet.

It’s an upbeat letter, focusing on the books he has been able to read while incarcerated.

“I wonder if Santa will appreciate the fact that I’ve been eating well and leading a proper lifestyle,” he wrote. “… My conscience is clear. And in front of Santa too. Wow, (2021) sounds like a pretty good year. I think, in terms of authenticity, it’s one of the good ones.”

And if Andrei believes the past year, which he has spent in captivity, is “one of the good ones” in terms of his conscience and feeling of authenticity, who are we to argue?