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Coronavirus: Photos explore new reality of cities during quarantine

A series of photos shows (almost) empty spaces of cities around the world during quarantine of COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Quarantine and social distance. With each passing day the official bodies, communication vehicles, celebrities, influencers and the like emphasize more the need to stay at home to flatten the contour curve of COVID-19, disease caused by new coronavirus. And a series of Photos of the newspaper The New York Times explores this new reality in metropolises around the world, whose landscapes are already beginning to change.

Among the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) to face the COVID-19 pandemic is to avoid going out of the This guidance is valid for all cities, states and countries where the contagion by the virus is in the community transmission phase.

Gradually, people joined the idea, especially after observing huge jumps in the number of deaths caused by new coronavirus overnight, as has been happening in Italy and Spain. Despite being far from ideal, which would be the total recluse of all people, the landscapes in the metropolises are already different.

The photographers hired by the newspaper were tasked with exploring public spaces that, not long ago, used to be crowded with passers-by, customers and / or tourists. And the Photos that they did on this somewhat lonely journey speak for themselves. Here's what they found:

The train station in Berlin is almost empty in the quarantine of the new coronavirus.Berlin, Germany (Emile Ducke)
One of the photos showing empty Bogot roads in the quarantine of the new coronavirusBogot, Colombia (Federico Rios)
An almost deserted beach in Los AngelesLos Angeles, USA (Philip Cheung)
An almost deserted street in LondonLondon, England (Andrew Testa)
Times Square almost deserted nightNew York, USA
Rome center emptyRome, Spain (Alessandro Penso)
Seoul silence almost emptySeoul, South Korea (Woohae Cho)
Bus stop with only one person wearing maskTeero, Ir (Arash Khamooshi)

Photos of (almost) empty spaces

At Photos show how the state of global calamity caused by the proliferation of COVID-19 caused the void to spread almost equal to the new coronavirus. Cinemas, squares, beaches, parks, restaurants and temples, which used to be filled with the buzz of voices and steps, are now hollow. Or almost hollow.

This is because some Photos show places with far fewer people than normal – but not completely empty. And in the case of a photo taken of a residential building in So Paulo (SP), what is the other side of this context of quarantine and social distance: the concentration of people in their houses and apartments, as recommended by WHO it's the Ministry of Health.

Building with several people in their apartmentsSo Paulo, Brazil
Some people on train from ParisParis, France (Andrea Mantovani)
Restaurant with very few peopleYangon, Myanmar (Minzayar Oo)
A person walking on the streetCaracas, Venezuela (Adriana Loureiro Fernandez)
Police officers patrolling empty monumentWashington D.C, USA (Alyssa Schukar)
One of the photos from the series showing empty Hong Kong in the quarantine of the new coronavirus.Hong Kong, China (Lam Yik Fei)
Person walking on a sidewalk on the banks of a riverMilo, Italy (Alessandro Grassini)
Man having dinner alone in restaurantBeijing, China (Gilles Sabri)

Historical origins

Public spaces, as we know them today, did not appear out of nowhere. The original concept comes from goras of Ancient Greece. These places were public squares where the Greeks held, mainly, meetings to discuss issues related to life at the plaza, which was a kind of outline of the concept that would give rise to cities. The space also served for religious ceremonies, negotiations and trade.

Over time, events such as epidemics, natural disasters and, finally, major tragedies, forced government officials to improve and rethink the structures of public places. This inspired, for example, more airy and light buildings, in addition to new layouts of spaces for agglomerations. Thus, cvic well-being was being improved as needed.

A few thousand years after the Greek goras, today the squares and other public spaces still have a kind of gravity that attracts us, whether to relax, socialize or even protest. Now, perhaps, more than ever.

Empty avenue with doves in BarcelonaBarcelona, ??Spain (Maria Contreras Coll)
Empty Paris squareParis, France
Empty amusement parkNew Delhi, India (Saumya Khandelwal)
Empty square in So FranciscoSo Francisco, USA (Rozette Rago)
Security walking through empty templesYogyakarta, Indonesia (Ulet Ifansasti)
Empty museum in MiloMilo, Italy
Empty tourist spot in SydneySydney, Australia (Matthew Abbott)
Empty restaurant in CambodiaSiem Reap, Cambodia (Adam Dean)

Empty in the pictures a good sign?

Observe the Photos of places – which we are used to seeing crowded – so empty can bring a certain melancholy and sadness about our current moment, permeated by the quarantine and at social distance. But this, too, is a matter of perspective.

This void captured in the Photos metropolis can give an impression of dystopia (after all, every day Times Square deserted during a peak time), but it also shows that we have not lost the ability to come together for a greater good. In this case, we come together by staying at home as long as we can to flatten the contour curve of the new coronavirus.

Empty public transportRawalpindi, Paquisto (Saiyna Bashir)
Empty place with only one security guardBangkok, Thailand (Amanda Mustard)
Empty restaurantNew Jersey, USA (Bruan Anselm)
Empty train stationMunich, Germany (Laetitia Vancon)
Band playing for an empty auditoriumMoscow, Russia (Sergey Ponomarev)
They are empty with only one security guardTokyo, Japan (Noriko Hayashi)
Boats without passengers in tourist pointSrinagar, India (Atul Loke)
Cinema room with very few peopleSo Paulo, Brazil (Victor Moriyama)

At Photos they have the potential to bring terror, but also hope. They point out that the beauty of places does not lie only in architecture and design, even though many of the projects portrayed are considered works of art. Beauty is also in the human interaction that happens in them.

Ultimately, it all depends on how you look at the photos, how you interpret them and how they make you feel.

Sources: The New York Times, Ministry of Health