The first few weeks of 2020 were ones of celebration and new beginnings for the new decade. We encouraged Houstonians to make this year our best year yet.
Then rumors of a mysterious virus began to percolate into our hearts and minds. At first, we told y'all not to worry about it, that you should be more worried about the flu, but then COVID-19 began to pop up in different parts of the country. While we were concerned, we thought we were safe here.
Then the virus came to Houston.
In a seemingly rapid series of events, Mayor Sylvester Turner cancelled RodeoHouston and declared a public emergency on March 11, all bars and restaurants were closed on March 16, and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a "stay home, work safe" order on March 24, effectively shutting down Houston. What began as just a handful of travel-related cases in the Houston-area has since jumped to more than 3,000 positive cases of COVID-19.
The 2020 we expected is not the 2020 we got. People are now hoarding toilet paper and barely leaving their homes. Houstonians are teaching themselves how to make face masks to wear when they do go out, and suddenly even the simplest thing in life, like taking a walk around your neighborhood has become essential. Life as we know it has changed.
But Houstonians are tough, and while the day-to-day manner of living may never look quite the same as it was pre-pandemic, here in the Bayou City, even in the midst of so much uncertainty and turmoil, photographer Daniel Kramer has captured how life still, sometimes cautiously, sometimes joyfully, sometimes in spite of all the odds, goes on. We wanted to show what he found on assignment for Houstonia this month as he has been chronicling the impact of the pandemic on our city.