We feared for our lives and for the lives of our loved ones. This is how we sought shelter.

The uneasiness and anger we’re feeling stems from a primal human need: safety. It has driven us to action on behalf of those around us, as well as those we may never meet. We were all, as the state order reminded us, safer at home. It’s the force that drives all our lives now.

• • •

Morgan Nickse's painting. [Courtesy of Larry Reeder]

Morgan Nickse, 17, of Seminole painted this interpretation of life in the age of COVID-19.

— Submitted by her grandfather, Larry Reeder, who has homes in Seminole and the Villages

Related: Museums and artists in Tampa Bay feel the pain of coronavirus closures

• • •

Jonathan Barnes in his garage with a 3D printer he uses to create face shields. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times]

When he learned a friend and emergency room worker in Ocala was looking for face protection, Jonathan Barnes, chairman of fine arts and humanities at St. Petersburg College, fired up his personal 3D printer and created shields. When demand increased, he used two other 3D printers borrowed from the school to produce more, at a pace of six shields every four hours. He prints the headpieces and hand-cuts the face protection from plastic stencil film. He attaches the film to the headpiece using a three-hole punch.

— John Pendygraft, Tampa Bay Times

Related: The Helpers: SPC professor creates 3D-printed face shields for medical workers

• • •

Edith Scott, a pharmacy tech in Tampa, sent this photo of the face mask she wears to work with her hijab. [Edith Scott]

Edith Scott, a pharmacy tech who wears a hijab, writes: “Yesterday, the people ridiculed me, but today, the people thank me. ... My co-workers told me, ‘All these years we thought you had your clothes wrong, just to find out you have the right clothes.’ From my brother’s business storage came my N95 masks and safety glasses, so God is the best of planners. From God I came, to Him I will return, but God is the healer and protector, so gratefully and thankfully, I am here to be of service to all of mankind."

— Submitted by Edith Scott, Tampa

• • •

Kristen Casey took this photo on a day when she and others were still helping existing patients during the coronavirus pandemic. [Kristen Casey]

“I am not a doctor or a nurse,” writes Kristen Casey, a clinic access team member at Moffitt Cancer Center. She and her colleagues “are here day in and day out for our patients, who have already been facing life-altering medical issues. We love caring for people and will continue doing everything we can to stay safe.”

— Submitted by Kristen Casey, Temple Terrace

Related: Touching makes us human. Coronavirus makes it complicated.

• • •

Dangerous Times

When lightning is flashing

and thunder is crashing

with strong winds blowing

and high seas flowing

These dangers we see

These dangers we hear

We know what to do

when we feel that fear.

Stay home. Stay dry.

Stay safe. Stay warm.

Always try to avoid

the storm.

There's a bad storm now

though out of our view,

an invisible menace.

Do we know what to do?

Yes, the answer's the same:

Stay safe. Stay warm.

Let's all stay home

to help end this storm.

— Submitted by Barbara Van Weelden, Hudson

• • •

Grace Torrefranca, 8, of Tampa wrote this song about staying safe. She performed it with her aunt, Britt Herron, and cousin, Dex, who live in Dallas, via Zoom.

— Submitted by Cristine Torrefranca, Tampa

• • •









The Surreal


For all the stories in the series, click here.