Last year felt like it dragged on for ages, and yet it also went by faster than any year before it. Anybody else have the same feeling?
On March 6, I attended the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce’s Take No Bull Women’s Conference at the Hilton Durham near Duke University. I sat in a room with hundreds of people, ate a meal elbow to elbow with others whom I’d never met before and shook hands with reckless abandon. Everyone could see my smile, and smiled back.
Two days after the conference, my family and I took my mom out to a restaurant for her birthday. There weren’t many other people there – good, we thought, because we heard about this dangerous new virus. We took extra care washing our hands and tried not to touch too many surfaces. My brother and I ordered Coronas as a nod to this novel virus; we couldn’t have known what lay ahead. Mom’s birthday was the last time I hugged my parents and brother. And, given all that’s happened in the past year, I’m just glad that I will be hugging them again.
And soon, too. All thanks to the incredible researchers, scientists, clinical trial volunteers (including my partner’s dad, Paul Menchini, who blessedly got the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine in the trial) and the first people to receive the FDA-approved vaccine, like nurse Faye Tate Williams, who was the first in the Triangle to get the shot at Duke University Hospital on Dec. 14. She is one of our 2021 Influencers, not only for receiving her vaccine and documenting it to demonstrate its importance in the fight to save lives – especially the lives of those in the Black community, who are disproportionately impacted by the virus – Faye also came out of retirement in the middle of the pandemic to help out on the front lines. She is no less than a hero in my book. – Amanda MacLaren, executive managing editor
36 The Influencers
Community members sing the praises of seven people who continue to help our city get through its toughest year yet
60 Tune In
A 14-year-old musical prodigy moves from South Africa to Durham to pursue his dreams
64 Mic’d Up
Durham Academy siblings launch a kids’ sports podcast
68 For Your Reference
A quick update on how you can still utilize our local libraries
70 Summer Camp Guide
Does your kid love sports? What about science or engineering? Maybe art? There are dozens of camps in the Triangle to match every kid’s interest.
DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS
Our best bets for February and March
16 In Her Words
Tianna Spears shares her struggles from 2020 and hopes for 2021
What we’ve heard around our city …
82 Dollar Signs
Serendipity led Kelly Witter to her happy place in Trinity Park
103 Engagement & Wedding
Tying the knot, Bull City-style
100 How to Build and Maintain Your Network
Ways to stay connected as communication shifts online
PEOPLE & PLACES
24 Healthy Durham
Need to know: the COVID-19 vaccine in Durham
50 Durham Strong
Businesses share how they made it through this past year and look toward the future
95 Adopt a Pet
This sweet tabby is in foster care and waiting on her forever home.