New York Times’ Photos Of Global Covid-19-Affected Cities Are Masterpieces Of Desolate Beauty

Covid-19 is now well and truly a pandemic, and if we needed any evidence of how global the spread has become, we just need to glance at photos of cities all over the world that have been put under partial or full lockdown to contain the spread.

The New York Times has compiled a series of photos, each capturing a desolate scene in a city, and giving us a sense of how the virus has affected daily life there.

Looking through these beautiful yet haunting photos, shared on Facebook by a netizen, may evoke a sense of wonder but also despair at how different the world has become in just a matter of weeks.

Desolate cities of the world

We start with China, where it all began.

While the country’s spread seems to be easing, big cities like Beijing and Shanghai are still reporting imported cases.

This lone diner sitting in a Beijing neighbourhood known for its nightlife epitomises how Chinese people must have felt when they were largely in isolation as a result of nationwide lockdowns.

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In Bangkok, a city that is normally filled to the brim with tourists, including those from Wuhan, a security guard presides over a quiet street as the authorities urge people to self-isolate ahead of a possible curfew.

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Another security guard guards nothing at a temple complex in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

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 Pub Street in Siem Reap, Cambodia is usually filled with tourists having drink after visiting Angkor Wat — not any more.

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A restaurant in Yangon, Myanmar famous for its panoramic view sees one lonely diner with the view all to himself, as the country reported its first cases of Covid-19.

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Hong Kong’s were besieged by protests a few months ago, but now they are empty, and not many are around to catch this view of the city’s magnificent skyline.

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Tokyo, Japan is usually a city that’s constantly on the move. From this photo of an airport, it’s on the move no more.

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In Seoul, the capital of South Korea, which saw a surge in Covid-19 cases earlier this month, all is quiet at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

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No merry-making can be seen at this fair near New Delhi’s Red Fort, as India goes into lockdown.

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This photo taken in Srinagar, India, highlights how tourism-reliant businesses have been affected. During what normally would be the tourist season, tourist boats lie empty as owners look on in despair.

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In Teheran, Iran, the Persian New Year is all but cancelled as cases continue to surge.

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At the ironic Opera House in Sydney, Australia, few are around during the prime photo-taking time at sunset.

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In Milan, Italy, the Navigli is devoid of people amid a nationwide lockdown as the virus continues to spread indiscriminately.

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Rome’s famous Spanish Steps, a major tourist attraction, looks like a nuclear apocalypse just occurred.

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In Barcelona, Spain, mainly pigeons line the famous Las Ramblas street and shops and tourist carts selling souvenirs are shut.

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In Berlin, Germany, social distancing measures are being well followed by the few people out and about.

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In Munich, Germany, a stylish subway has no commuters.

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In London, this used to be rush hour, but not any more.

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In Paris, France, train commuters who dare to venture outside can be treated to an uncluttered view of the Eiffel Tower.

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In Moscow, Russia, musicians play to an empty audience, as the performance moves online.

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New York City’s major transit hub, the Oculus, stands silent as nobody is going anywhere any more. The United States on Thursday (26 Mar) surpassed China as the country with the most number of Covid-19 cases in the world, with more than 85,000 infected.

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Only dogs and guards are present at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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In Los Angeles, the beautiful Santa Monica beach has no swimmers or sunbathers.

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This park in San Francisco will probably be crowded with families playing and couples lying about and enjoying the spring — during normal times.

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In the US state of New Jersey, a seemingly closed diner is actually open — but only for takeaway orders.

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In Seattle, a hot dog stand is shuttered together with the nearby Space Needle, as visitor numbers are non-existent.

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In Bogota, Columbia, a sprawling intersection has no vehicles.

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In Caracas, Venezuela, the nation endures a nationwide quarantine.

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Sad reminder of disruption to people’s daily lives

While we think the well-taken photos show that the world still looks the same as we remember it, they’re a sad reminder of the unprecedented scale of disruption the pandemic has caused to people’s daily lives.

We hope that such scenes don’t last too long, a world without people just isn’t a world worth living in.

Do you have any photos of desolate places amid the Covid-19 outbreak? Do share them with us if you do.

Featured image adapted from Facebook.