Photos: The Quiet Emptiness of a World Under Coronavirus


Closures, travel restrictions, and self-isolation measures due to the new coronavirus have cleared public squares, roads, and travel destinations across the globe. Places built to accommodate thousands have become virtual ghost towns, as tourists and locals remain at home. Photographers in France, India, the U.S., Italy, China, Australia, and more have been capturing the eerie stillness of these public spaces, recently emptied of the crowds they were built for.

1. The reflecting pool and National Mall, normally filled with tourists, shown nearly empty due to the impacts of the coronavirus, on March 17, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Win McNamee / Getty

2. California Street, usually filled with cable cars, is seen mostly empty in San Francisco, California, on March 17, 2020. On Monday, millions of residents in the Bay Area, including Silicon Valley, were ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.       

Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty

3. Cinderella Castle is seen at the end of a deserted Main Street at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park, after it closed in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus, in an aerial view over Orlando, Florida, on March 16, 2020.

Gregg Newton / Reuters

4. An aerial view from a drone shows a few people walking along the ocean in South Beach on March 16, 2020, in Miami Beach, Florida. City officials closed an area of the beach that is popular with college spring breakers and asked them to refrain from large gatherings, where COVID-19 could spread.

Joe Raedle / Getty

5. The Trocadero, empty, with the Eiffel Tower in the distance, on the first day of a government-enforced quarantine on March 17, 2020, in Paris, France

Veronique de Viguerie / Getty

6. The mostly-deserted steps of the Sydney Opera House, where scheduled performances have been canceled due to the coronavirus, seen on a quiet morning in Sydney, Australia, on March 18, 2020       

Loren Elliott / Reuters

7. A view of a deserted Safdarjung Tomb, closed to tourists on March 17, 2020, in New Delhi, India. The Indian Council of Medical Research on Tuesday said that India is in stage two of the coronavirus outbreak. The third stage is community transmission, which India hopes to avoid. On Monday, the provincial government in the capital, New Delhi, barred the assembly of more than 50 people and ordered the closure of all the public monuments and museums, including the iconic Taj Mahal and Red Fort until the end of this month.       

Yawar Nazir / Getty

8. A view of Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, Italy, after sanitation operations for the coronavirus emergency took place, on March 17, 2020

Laura Lezza / Getty

9. A view of the empty Zoloti Vorota station in central Kyiv, Ukraine, after a metro shutdown amid coronavirus concerns on March 17, 2020       

Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters

10. The Brooklyn Bridge, with significantly less traffic due to coronavirus cases and fears, photographed on March 17, 2020, in New York City

Justin Heiman / Getty

11. A pedestrian crosses a nearly-empty Kiener Plaza Park in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 17, 2020. Activity in downtown St. Louis was light as businesses curtailed operations and encouraged employees to work from home if possible in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Jeff Roberson / AP

12. A person walks through the Fulton Center station in Lower Manhattan on March 15, 2020, in New York City.

Stephanie Keith / Getty

13. The parking lot at The Shops at Hilltop sits empty on March 17, 2020, in Richmond, California.

Justin Sullivan / Getty

14. A view shows the deserted Rue de Rivoli in Paris during lockdown, on March 18, 2020.

Christian Hartmann / Reuters

15. A young man uses his smartphone as he sits on a platform at a deserted railway station in the Ukrainian city of Lviv on March 18, 2020.

Yuri Dyachyshyn / AFP / Getty

16. A view of an empty ski lift at Squaw Valley Resort in Olympic Valley, California, on March 14, 2020. Alterra Mountain Company, which owns Squaw Valley, suspended operations at all 15 of its North American resorts on March 15, until further notice.

Ezra Shaw / Getty North America

17. The rotunda of the U.S. Capitol stands empty as a precaution due to the novel coronavirus, in Washington, D.C., on March 17, 2020.

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty

18. A nearly-empty street is pictured after Honduras’s government imposed a nationwide curfew for a seven-day period as part of the measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on March 17, 2020.

Jorge Cabrera / Reuters

19. A closed and empty Jardin des Tuileries, photographed in Paris, France, on March 17, 2020

Veronique de Viguerie / Getty

20. An empty Westminster Bridge in London, England, photographed on March 18, 2020       

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

21. A man takes a selfie in an empty Catalunya Square in Barcelona, Spain, on March 15, 2020. As part of the measures to prevent spread of the coronavirus, the Spanish government declared a 15-day state of emergency.       

David Ramos / Getty

22. A science teacher live-streams to her students from a flowering field in Hangzhou, in China’s Zhejiang province, on March 16, 2020. Campuses in China are still not allowed to take in students, nearly two months after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Feature China / Barcroft Media / Getty

23. People descend the Bethesda metro-station escalator at rush hour on March 16, 2020, after Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan, ordered the shutdown of all bars and eateries in the state.

Tom Brenner / Reuters

24. The old town of Annecy, France, deserted on March 17, 2020

Richard Bord / Getty

25. A woman stands at her balcony as she joins others in applauding doctors and nurses fighting the coronavirus disease, part of a nationwide initiative to show unity and support in Sofia, Bulgaria, on March 16, 2020.

Dimitar Kyosemarliev / Reuters

26. The square in front of the Notre-Dame de Reims cathedral in Reims, France, photographed on March 17, 2020

Francois Nascimbeni / AFP / Getty

27. A view of the international bridge between Peru and Bolivia, after Peru’s government announced the border’s closure in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, in Desaguadero, Bolivia, on March 17, 2020.

David Mercado / Reuters

28. A musician plays a violin as he waits for the last train before the metro is shut down, at Zoloti Vorota station in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 17, 2020.     

Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters

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