}

Coronavirus’s slow upending of our everyday lives in photos

In the winter we watched the earliest footage out of Wuhan, China, as if it were a foreign-language sci-fi movie we’d stumbled across. Unsettling, certainly, but we let ourselves see the novel coronavirus as just one more development — like that protester standing in front of a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square — that could happen only in China.

Karim El Maktafi

People entering the White House have their temperature taken before a coronavirus briefing March 18.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Eventually the macabre scenes shifted to Italy, but they were still so distant, too unreal for us to have the imagination that they could play out here.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

People gather for conversation outside the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Va., on March 18. The coffee house was open for walk-up window and patio service only.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Besides, spring was coming, and particularly in the Washington area we had our comforting images of the season to get us through the last days of a snowless, nondescript winter.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Hailey Hill and prom partner Tony Cho, right, of Seneca Valley High School in Gaithersburg, Md., pose as Hill's mother, Kari Hill, left, and sister Kayla take their photographs at the Tidal Basin on March 19.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

There would be the cherry blossoms and the home opener at Nationals Park — the first pitch thrown out there since they’d won the World Series, no less.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Roads surrounding the Lincoln Memorial and the Mall are closed to all traffic on March 23.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

But then a new set of images began to work their way into our American tableau.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

A Howard University student from Trinidad and Tobago moves out of his dorm in Washington on March 18.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Instead of families lining up to take pictures with the Easter Bunny in malls, we were lined up to buy carts full of toilet paper.

Patrick Semansky/AP

A shopper in the pasta aisle of a supermarket in Bethesda, Md., on March 16.

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

(Why do we need so much toilet paper? the kids asked, but it was one more question we couldn’t really answer.)

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Before the start of intake, Croswell Reid thoroughly disinfects surfaces that are regularly touched, including stairway rail handles, at Central Union Mission men's homeless shelter in Washington on March 9.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Spring cleaning boiled down to wiping surfaces and pouring more hand sanitizer into our hands if we were the lucky ones who hadn’t encountered empty shelves gleaming under fluorescent lighting.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Ridley Epstein, 9, says goodbye to her grandmother Donna Forsman, 78, after chatting on the phone during a through-the-door visit on March 20 at Brookdale Arlington, a senior living center in Arlington, Va.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

Instead of Facebook friends sharing pictures of flowers, they were posting black-and-white notices they’d snapped of the most recent closing announcements — the museums, tours of the Capitol, university administrative buildings.

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

At Medium Rare restaurant in Bethesda, assistant manager Eli Hernandez, left, and cooks Lourdes Lopez, center, and Sandra Cruz prepare free meals to be delivered to seniors and those with compromised immune systems on March 22.

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Restaurant tables were pushed to the side, the few takeout customers spread apart like the remaining chess pieces still standing in a marathon game.

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

A man jogs by a sign recommending social distancing and sanitary measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus on March 21 in Washington.

ERIC BARADAT/AFP/Getty Images

Some of us continued to insist on taking to the increasingly vacant streets in the form of determined joggers making wide berths around our fellow slower joggers, because didn’t social distancing still apply when you were moving that fast? Pollen was no longer the big enemy ushered in by the springtime air.

ERIC BARADAT/AFP/Getty Images

A medical worker instructs a driver to keep the window up at a drive-through coronavirus testing site in Arlington on March 19.

Michael A. McCoy/For The Washington Post

Rather than driving to the open countryside for hiking, we motored toward the new drive-through testing stations and found one more way to get in line.

Michael A. McCoy/For The Washington Post

President Trump arrives to speak with his coronavirus task force during a briefing at the White House on March 19.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

Perhaps the most unexpected image of this new spring was our president, showing up almost daily now for news briefings. Taking questions from reporters, he was still glowering, clinging to his taunts about the “fake media.”

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post

A lone traveler makes her way past the shops at Union Station in Washington on March 16.

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Yet that impulse just felt like the last, stubborn remnants of a blasé winter that we would forever remember not because of what happened in those months, but because of everything that came after.

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post