WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR A FEW MONTHS AGO that the coronavirus was here in Houston and spreading rapidly, local leaders called on Houstonians to step up and do their part, changing our entire way of life practically overnight. Over the following days and weeks, the city showed its grit, handling imploded businesses, lost jobs, closed schools, barred places of worship, self-quarantines, and distancing from loved ones with our own unique blend of grace, stubbornness, and a lot of humor.

In order to better understand how the people of the Bayou City met one of our most challenging moments, we at Houstonia sent photographer Daniel Kramer out to document it all. What follows are scenes of hope, scenes of defiance (including a scene or two of defiance of the rules, because that’s how Houstonians roll), and moments of joy and connection, even in the midst of this difficult time.

People visit and social distance at Memorial Park’s Picnic Loop on March 21.

Image: Daniel Kramer

Karen Sloan, just off her nursing shift in the Houston Methodist OR, pauses on the Rice University walking track on April 6.

Image: Daniel Kramer

The Meyerland H-E-B is out of disinfectant wipes on April 15.

Image: Daniel Kramer

Giovanni Prati, who drives for DoorDash, waits for a pizza at Pinks Pizza on N. Shepherd Dr. on March 29. So far business is good, Prati says, but he’s worried about how long the pandemic may last.

Image: Daniel Kramer

Galveston Island Beach Patrol lifeguard Matthew Sicilio mans Tower 2 at East Beach on May 2. The red flag indicates strong rip currents.

Image: Daniel Kramer

A man and his dog on Galveston’s East Beach on Sunday, May 3. After Gov. Greg Abbott reopened the state shorelines that first weekend in May, about 100,000 people crowded onto Galveston’s beaches, which had been closed since March 29.

Image: Daniel Kramer

Andrew Thomas, owner of the Showboat Drive-in Theater, prepares to reopen on May 1. Thomas implemented several changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including having patrons stay within their vehicle parking places during the movie, closing the concession stand, and only selling tickets online.

Image: Daniel Kramer

A couple wearing masks make their way down a sidewalk crowded with non-mask wearers along Strand Street in Galveston on May 3.

Image: Daniel Kramer

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