As the nation grinds to a standstill amidst the Covid-19 outbreaks, even its most trafficked areas stand abandoned in a testament to the changing face of American life. Here The Onion’s photojournalism bureau captures the haunting spaces left empty around the country after recent shelter-in-place orders.
Formerly an iconic space playing host to throngs of New Yorkers, this once-bustling hub has now been rendered nearly unrecognizable, transforming instead into a poignant symbol of how the city has been reshaped by the pandemic.
Mere weeks ago, one could see community, happiness, and connection fostered here. It now stands virtually abandoned.
Schools, bars, and restaurants have been closed to halt the virus’s spread. But stark images such as this beg us to ask: What has been lost?
It is eerie, yet beautiful to reflect on the joy and warmth once cultivated by this deserted Seattle space before local authorities took precautionary measures to tamp down on the virus’s spread.
An evocative photograph of the absence left in the wake of Indiana’s statewide lockdown.
Only silence remains in this classic Detroit hotspot. where once one could hear the din of happy residents going about their daily life.
“It was unsettling but strangely tranquil photographing these places I’ve seen so many times, now completely devoid of human life—I’ve never seen anything like it,” The Onion senior photojournalist Daniel Alfond noted in describing the assignment.
One resident defies a local shelter-in-place order to visit this once-populated site.
Humanity looks forward to the day when they will be able to return here, carefree and ready to embrace each other again. But will it ever be the same?