From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, fears have been raised worldwide regarding the unique challenges facing socially marginalised people such as those who inject drugs. This article draws on in-depth interviews conducted during the first year of the pandemic with people who inject drugs living in urban and regional Australia. Perhaps the most surprising finding to emerge was the number of participants who reported minimal disruption to their everyday lives, even improved wellbeing in some instances. Attempting to make sense of this unanticipated finding, our analysis draws on the concept of 'care', not as a moral disposition or normative code but as something emergent, contingent and realised in practice. Working with Foucault's ethics and recent feminist insights on the politics of care from the field of Science and Technology Studies, we explore how care was enacted in the everyday lives of our participants. We examine how participants' daily routines became objects of care and changed practice in response to the pandemic; how their ongoing engagement with harm reduction services afforded not only clinical support but vital forms of social and affective connection; and how for some, care was realised through an ethos and practice of constrained sociality and solitude. © 2023 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness.