Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

New York City: Ghost Town

A commuter sporting latex gloves passes by a lifeless Rockefeller Center, March 18, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

Life in New York City has come to an abrupt halt amid the outbreak of COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus. Following suit of other major cities affected around the world, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that as of Friday, March 13th, after 5 pm there would be no gatherings of 500 people or more permitted in hopes of stopping the spread. Since then, Broadway has canceled all shows for the foreseeable future, businesses have closed for unknown amounts of time, restaurants have switched to only offering takeout in an attempt to stay afloat, and New York’s most popular tourist attractions are now ghost towns. Here is a look inside the city in the days that followed the announcement.

Times Square remains virtually empty after New York implements rules to restrict gatherings of more than 500 persons, March 16, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

The 911 Memorial and Museum has been closed to the public. For now, only NYPD and security guards are permitted within the chained off area, March 17, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A construction worker passes by the 911 Memorial and Museum, closed to the public amid the COVID-19 spread, March 17, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A man sits and eats outside The Oculus, a popular tourist destination adjacent One World Trade, March 17, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge.

Radio City Music Hall mid-day, following cancelation of all upcoming shows, March 18, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

The New York Public Library, a popular destination for tourists and New Yorkers, March 18, 2020. Thomas Hengge

Washington Square Park emptied amid the spread of COVID-19 in NYC, March 17, 2020.  Photo by Thomas Hengge

Union Square Park is now desolate, March 17, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

Grand Central Terminal, one of New York City’s busiest transit stations during rush hour on March 17, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

Astor Place on March 16, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge


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