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.

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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

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"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

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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

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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

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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. [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

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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

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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

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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. [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.

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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

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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. [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. [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

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The Surreal


For all the stories in the series, click here.