People adjusted after performances, classes and weddings were postponed or canceled.

At first, we washed our hands longer. We stopped hugging. We started working from home, if we were lucky enough to still have jobs, and tried to stay productive. We kept our kids occupied before and after distance learning. We video chatted for happy hours. We learned about all the ways to use canned beans. We sewed masks from whatever textiles we could grab. We found new ways to celebrate milestones, and new ways to mourn. We adapted, because adaptation is an intrinsically human trait — it’s how we’re here to begin with.

• • •

NEW:

Excerpts from “What I’ve learned in quarantine”

At home, families rediscover each other! As someone who has traveled extensively for the past 20 years, a remembrance of what was and wondering where it got so far of course. Dinners together. Family walks. Family bike rides. Games. In my own home, the thunderous laughter shared with my teenagers and wife watching old home movies. Remembering when life was simpler, while back then it seemed so complex. Moments frozen in time on film. Memories of Grandparents since departed. Moments with friends from times past. The faces of nieces and nephews now grown.

For now, I choose to revel in my family rediscovered. Thanks, Jake, for challenging me. Maddie for showing me the strength of a daughter’s love! Angel for being my rock. Steven for showing his heart and continuing to show up and feed the community. Eric for staying close and being my lighthearted foil. Heather and Danielle for showing me that no matter how much time has passed, a family’s love is always there. My sister, as we have rediscovered challenging and supporting each other like we haven’t since 1978. And Pop, who has once again shown us that difficult times do not absolve us of being kind. Despite all he’s going through, he worries about us and ends every call with “love you, all!”

Lessons learned only have value if we give them credence and purpose. Here’s to a new dawn.

Submitted by Steve Tomlin, Palm Harbor

• • •

NEW:

You know you're adapting to quarantine when your home workout equipment includes a vodka bottle.
You know you're adapting to quarantine when your home workout equipment includes a vodka bottle. [ Linda Humphers ]

“I wasted no time setting up my home workout station,” Linda Humphers writes. “Yes, one of my weights is, indeed, a full Tito’s bottle. But it’s filled with water, so it weighs less than if it were full of vodka (counting the weight of the bottle, that’s about 5 pounds vs. 7 pounds). The vodka-filled bottle is in the freezer, waiting to be turned into quarantinis. When the going gets tough, you know, the tough get going...”

— Submitted by Linda Humphers, Clearwater

• • •

NEW:

“WINE on the PORCH”

No cars pass, no school bus lumbers in sight.

I listen, slumbering, for the mail truck,

it's rumbling now my day's highlight.

A woodpecker drumming in rhythm

with my numbing rocker's sway

gets me off my cushion with its percussion

to start happy hour earlier each day.

“As a writer, first thing I thought when self-isolating was: ‘So, this will be great. At last, I’ll have uninterrupted time and space to write, write, write.' Ha. Not so fast. I discovered that in addition to time and space, I required motivation, which to my dismay, I had in short supply.

“These are the results of my lackluster, stuporous effort, which seemed like a major accomplishment at the time...”

— Submitted by Jude Bagatti, Gulfport

• • •

NEW:

A re-imagined graduation celebration.
A re-imagined graduation celebration. [ Tara Barbieri ]

When her daughter’s graduation from East Lake High School came around May 23rd, and the official ceremony was still on hold, Tara Barbieri came up with something else: A drive-thru celebration for Julia. “Not exactly the grad party we had envisioned, but it was fun!” she wrote.

— Submitted by Tara Barbieri, Clearwater

• • •

Mark Etherington, left, and Jun Bustamante rehearse in Etherington's apartment.
Mark Etherington, left, and Jun Bustamante rehearse in Etherington's apartment. [ JAY CRIDLIN | Tampa Bay Times ]

With almost all their upcoming gigs canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus, Mark Etherington, a.k.a. Mountain Holler, and Jun Bustamante perform for an audience of one — Etherington’s dog, Cherokee — as they rehearse in Etherington’s St. Petersburg apartment on March 20.

Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times

• • •

"Yes," Joel Santos Gonzalez told friends, “I am one of those weirdos who dresses up to work from home.”
"Yes," Joel Santos Gonzalez told friends, “I am one of those weirdos who dresses up to work from home.” [ Courtesy of Joel Santos Gonzalez ]

Joel Santos Gonzalez learned the importance of routine during isolation a few years ago, he said, when he went through quarantine after a stem cell transplant, one of the treatments he tried after being diagnosed with lymphoma. So when his classes shifted online in March, “dressing up seemed like a good way to keep the work routine going.” He sent this selfie to friends, joking that, “Yes, I am one of those weirdos who dresses up to work from home.”

— Submitted by Joel Santos Gonzalez, Hudson

• • •

Susan Davis mailed this "birthday" card to her daughter.
Susan Davis mailed this "birthday" card to her daughter. [ Courtesy of Susan Davis ]

Susan Davis of St. Petersburg said she didn’t want to risk going to the store to buy a card to send to her daughter in Tennessee for her 25th birthday. So she adapted a spare Christmas card she had. “Though the card is for Christmas, the sentiment is the same,” she said.

— Submitted by Susan Davis, St. Petersburg

• • •

Dance classes via Zoom took a little getting used to.
Dance classes via Zoom took a little getting used to. [ Courtesy of Julie Richey ]

Five-year-old Ruby attends her A&G Dance Academy class via Zoom, from home in St. Petersburg. Her mother, Julie Richey, said Ruby missed seeing and hugging her friends, but she quickly adjusted to the remote lessons and was excited to use the video platform to show her teacher and classmates around her house.

— Submitted by Julie Richey, St. Petersburg

• • •

The service for Robert Crandall and Elise Crosby.
The service for Robert Crandall and Elise Crosby. [ Courtesy of Robert Crandall ]

Robert Crandall and Elise Crosby were supposed to get married in March at Largo Central Park. Forced to cancel, they instead said their vows — inspired by feminist writer Bell Hooks’ book All About Love and synth-pop band CHVRCHES’ song “Clearest Blue” — at their dining room table. A friend who’s a notary public officiated; Crosby’s 11-year-old daughter was the witness.

— Submitted by Robert Crandall, Largo

Related: Coronavirus upended their Florida weddings, but life and love go on

• • •

Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails took to selling hand-labeled versions of drinks.
Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails took to selling hand-labeled versions of drinks. [ Jay Cridlin ]

When the state of Florida barred dine-in at local restaurants in March, many began offering carryout cocktails. Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails in St. Petersburg sold bottled, hand-labeled versions of cocktails, including Negronis, Aperol Spritzes and Palomas.

— Jay Cridlin, Tampa Bay Times

• • •

The Rays of Tampa set up a board for daily activities.
The Rays of Tampa set up a board for daily activities. [ Courtesy of Thomas Ray ]

With children out of school, parents had to recalibrate their lives to keep things seeming normal. Alexandra Ray of Tampa created daily schedules for her son Bergen, 8, and daughter Amelia, 4. Activities included math, reading, crafts, exercise and cooking.

— Submitted by Thomas Ray, Tampa

• • •

Zachary Kopel, 17, a distance swimmer for Freedom High School and the Team Velocity club, measured the pool at home to calculate how many laps would cover a mile — 155, as opposed to 66 in a regulation pool. Here, he swims the whole thing, in time-lapse.

— Submitted by Ellen Kopel, Tampa

• • •

Brooklyn-based Alex Inskeep celebrates his birthday with his family in St. Petersburg.
Brooklyn-based Alex Inskeep celebrates his birthday with his family in St. Petersburg. [ Courtesy of Gay Inskeep ]

Alex Inskeep of Brooklyn celebrates his 30th birthday with his family in St. Petersburg: parents Gay and Paul Inskeep, brother Andrew Inskeep and grandmother Jean Patterson.

— Submitted by Gay Inskeep, St. Petersburg

• • •

Self-made masks.
Self-made masks. [ Courtesy of Cecilia Patella ]

“As an essential employee, I have to be prepared to work. Every. Single. Day. To ensure I am not taking a mask away from a true hero, I made seven. They hang proudly in the laundry room.”

— Submitted by Cecilia Patella, Beverly Hills, Fla.

• • •

Freyja Smith paints an Easter egg for the 2020 version of an egg hunt.
Freyja Smith paints an Easter egg for the 2020 version of an egg hunt. [ Courtesy of Kelsey Grentzer ]

Three-year-old Freyja Smith paints an Easter egg to be hung up as part of her neighborhood’s “Easter egg hunt” — a distance-friendly spin on the holiday tradition.

— Submitted by Kelsey Grentzer, St. Petersburg

• • •

A parental handoff every day.
A parental handoff every day. [ Courtesy of Enilda Romero-Hall ]

“I work from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. while Mac takes care of Diego. Mac works 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. while I take care of Diego.”

— Submitted by Enilda Romero-Hall, McFadden (Mac) Hall and Diego Hall (age 4), Seminole Heights

• • •

Kate Dean made matching face masks for her and her fiance, Tom Haverkamp.
Kate Dean made matching face masks for her and her fiance, Tom Haverkamp. [ Courtesy of Kate Dean ]

While stuck inside with her fiance, Tom Haverkamp — their wedding, originally set for June, has been postponed — Kate Dean made matching his-and-hers face masks from washcloths, ribbon and embroidery floss. “Truthfully, I’m just grateful we were able to quarantine together,” she said.

— Submitted by Kate Dean, Tampa

• • •

Lauren Klinger's son catches up with his grandmother in the only way he can right now.
Lauren Klinger's son catches up with his grandmother in the only way he can right now. [ Courtesy of Lauren Klinger ]

Lauren Klinger’s 3-month-old, Leo, FaceTimes with his grandmother during quarantine. “I’m worried that by the time this is all over, he’s going to have such stranger anxiety after being quarantined with just me and his dad for all this time,” she said. “Does he know that his grandma and his tia love him? Or does he think me and his dad are the only two people who exist?”

— Submitted by Lauren Klinger, St. Petersburg

• • •

NEXT:

Anxiety

Brightness

Change

Isolation

Safety

Community

Loss

The Surreal

Hope

For all the stories in the series, click here.

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