Lakeland, Florida’s virtual 2020 time capsule

For the past month, we’ve asked you to submit your most meaningful Lakeland-in-2020 related photos, videos, diary entries, blog posts, text messages, screenshots, etc. In total, we were able to accept eight “items” from residents around Swan City — including images of handwritten letters, quarantine parties, photographs, abstract artwork, multimedia projects + messages for the future. Here’s what you shared with us:

Masks galore

Photo via Reader Christine J.
Photo via Reader Chrissy P.


Memories with family

Photo via Reader Iris P.

After months of not seeing the grandfather who raised me, we were given the opportunity to hold each other. So, I say that what matters most is family.”Reader Iris P.

Photo by Reader Michael M.

“Annalee’s and my top event from 2020 was our family meeting our first baby, Eisley Cecilia Mutz, in April during the initial lockdown through our bedroom window.”Reader Michael M.

“We held a socially distanced 80th birthday celebration for my mom in a beautiful park.” – Toi B.

Real 2020 thoughts + feelings

Getting off 2020 at the next stop and walking the rest of the way!!!!Reader Tom L.

Being a 76-year-old runner, but “stuck” at home and all my races becoming “virtual”, I chose to start my personal 5K (3.1 miles) or longer daily Covid running streak. I was able to keep that up for 197 days, until I stumbled one day, fracturing 3 ribs, furloughing me for 4 weeks. Not a good year!Reader Dorothy J.

Flowing creative juices

(Like this 2020 jam created by Reader Scott L.)

Everybody all around the world
Gotta tell you what I just heard
There’s gonna be a virus all over the world
I heard it’s spreading on the radio
From bats it came from? I don’t really know
And I heard this virus is spreading all over the world
All over the world
Everybody got the germs
Everybody, everywhere, is gonna feel affright 
There’s nobody walking down the street
Everybody’s hands are squeaky clean
They’re gonna quarantine in the U.S.A
New York, Detroit, L.A.
We cannot take a trip across the sea
Everybody stay away from me
They’re gonna shut the streets down in gay Paris
(C’est la vie, having your friends for tea)
All over the world
Everybody got the germs
Everybody, everywhere, is gonna feel affright
(All over the world)
London, Hamburg, Paris, Rome
Rio, Hong Kong, Tokyo
L.A., New York, Amsterdam
Monte Carlo, and Lakeland
All over the world
Everybody got the germs
Everybody, everywhere, is gonna feel affright 
Everybody all around the world
Gotta tell you what I just learned
Everybody breathing that you meet
A mask in place where we all can speak
Everybody gonna have to quarantine
Everybody will hide for a fortnight 
All over the world
Everybody got the germs
Everybody, everywhere, is gonna feel affright” 

2020 adventures

Photo via Reader Felipe M.

Driving from Lakeland home to Broward home. Always excited to drive my Tesla.Reader Felipe M.

Each image and link tells a story and — we hope — will shed some light on our city’s collective experiences for auld lang syne whenever this webpage is revisited.

We don’t know what the future holds, but we’re glad to be on this journey with you, Lakeland.