Stranger Times: “The First Weekend in May, Durham’s COVID-19 Pandemic”

“On April 28, 2020, the New York Times ranked my hometown and the town I call home as having the fifth highest average daily growth rate of deaths due to COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus) in the United States of America. After seeing the article with my own two eyes, I knew there was a story here.”

Deryle Daniels, Jr. from Durham, North Carolina has been taking photographs since 2016. He spent that first weekend in May 2020 photographing a Durham that would forever be changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This weekend was sobering. But it had to be captured by someone who was born here, lived here, left here, and came back. Not only was this my given hometown. It is my chosen home.”

The Museum of Durham History also believes in the importance of capturing this incredible time in our history. We invite you to visit our newest exhibit, Stranger Times, co-curated by five Durham Public Schools students. The exhibit explores the pandemic from the Durham Teen point of view, using Durham’s Matt and Ross Duffer’s Emmy-award-winning Netflix Series Stranger Things, as a platform for reflection.

Join the exhibit! Deryle shares photos of his COVID-19 experience in Durham on his blog. Record your thoughts, reflections and COVID experiences in the museum’s Story Room at your convenience on our website and send pictures to We made it together, so let’s remember together!

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