After an unpredictable 2020 that saw some businesses, schools and workplaces shut down due to COVID-19, 2021 was meant to be the year we returned to normal – or perhaps a new normal. After all, we had gone through a presidential election cycle, developed three approved vaccines, and everyone was free to roam the country again.
Our State General Assembly resumed face-to-face meetings, sports resumed a normal schedule with journalists and photographers allowed to step back on the sidelines, and those who missed the workplace found themselves hanging again near the water fountain.
There was no bigger news this year than the vaccine and the emphasis on getting it to as many people as possible. We covered a special session of the General Assembly, a statewide election that resulted in unexpected leadership changes and, slowly, a refocus on the day-to-day activities that connect us as a community.
Oh, we also welcomed two new members of the photo team: Shaban Athuman and Eva Russo.
There’s always news, and events like the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from Monument Avenue certainly do the trick. Some things – crime, poverty and homelessness – never seem to go away, but efforts to eradicate them are just as persistent.
Once again, we braved the cold, the heat, early in the morning and late at night to cover the events that were important to you. Some made us smile; others might have made us shed a tear or two. In the end, we take pleasure and pride in the results. And we hope it made a difference.
– JAMES H. WALLACE, Times-Dispatch Photo Editor