Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

One year of COVID-19 in New York City

Businesses boarded up and closed during the shutdown. Little Italy, New York. March 30, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

A year ago New Yorkers woke up to a full lockdown. COVID-19 shut the city down. Infection and death were mounting and no one knew when it would end. The city became the epicenter of the deadly virus and had the highest number of confirmed cases of any state from the start of the U.S. outbreak until July 22. Throughout those hard months, the city looked like scenes straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie. Only essential businesses were open, grocery store shelves left empty, rush hour traffic didn’t exist and subway cars rode empty. 

The streets  did slowly came back to life, but the city still lacks the energy that it’s famous for. 

Each photo represents a month of the pandemic, which so far has infected over 780,000  New Yorkers and killed 48,537.

APRIL, 2020

Time Square, New York is at a stand still with no tourists flooding the streets. April 7, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

MAY 2020

Washington Square Park, New York pre-Covid is always filled with skaters and people eating outside. But not on May 13, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

JUNE 2020

As the warm weather starts to take over New York, a woman cutting up mangos sell fruit up by the subway entrance. Brooklyn, New York. June 18, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

JULY 2020

An empty subway car heading to Coney Island, New York. July 20, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz


People eat outside at That Diner in an outdoor setup that mimics indoor dining. Bowery, New York. September 9, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz


Path riders on route to the World Trade Center in New York. October 18, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz



A sea of people crowd around Columbus Circle celebrating Joe Biden winning the 2020 Presidential Election. November 7, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz


People sit, socially distanced, to watch a video playing on a screen at the MOMA Museum. December 5, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz


Broadway theaters remain shut down. Shubert Theatre, New York. January 18, 2021. Photo by Michelle Diaz


People wait on line to get vaccinated at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. February 17, 2021. Photo by Michelle Diaz

MARCH 2021

During an in-person NYU journalism graduate class, Digital Newsroom, students wear masks and maintain 6ft apart rules. March 11, 2021. Photo by Michelle Diaz



Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Life returns to the East Village

Quincy Walter May 5, 2021

Reopening for Ramadan

Hassan Abbas May 4, 2021

And the band played on

Xavier Bartaburu May 2, 2021

Queens residents mourn at Covid vigil

Annie Burky May 2, 2021

Floating for Free: COVID and the Staten Island Ferry

Trish Rooney May 2, 2021

COVID-19 has left many Black and Hispanic landlords in serious debt

Norah Hogan April 24, 2021

Village East movie theater reopens to the public

Inga Parkel April 13, 2021

Chinese adoptions halted by COVID

Inga Parkel March 24, 2021

Remote is the new workplace normal

Courtney Guarino March 24, 2021

COVID long haulers deal with lingering symptoms and doubt

Kaity Assaf March 5, 2021

Pandemic Weddings

Chuyan Jiang March 2, 2021

Pandemic fatigue 101

Chuyan Jiang February 28, 2021

Yankee Stadium becomes COVID-19 vaccine site for Bronx residents only

Michelle Diaz February 24, 2021

The queer community rallies behind their sacred spaces closed because of COVID-19

Inga Parkel February 23, 2021

Street vendors struggle as New Yorkers and tourists stay home

Norah Hogan February 13, 2021

Keeping the faith in COVID-19

Courtney Guarino February 3, 2021

Little Italy’s restaurants need indoor dining to survive pandemic

Michelle Diaz February 2, 2021

Stray pets find homes and love during pandemic

Inga Parkel February 1, 2021

No Actors, But the Show Goes On

James Pothen December 5, 2020

New York City, a place of refuge 

Edith Rousselot December 4, 2020

Commuting in a pandemic world

Michelle Diaz December 3, 2020

Battling food insecurities during a pandemic

Courtney Guarino December 3, 2020


Justin McGown December 3, 2020

Honk!: Cars earn a special spot in 2020

Luana Harumi December 3, 2020

Working out looks very different during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang December 2, 2020

One kitchen’s transformation in the age of isolation

Isabel Beer December 2, 2020

Nursing homes are filled with sadness and loss during pandemic shut down

Inga Parkel December 1, 2020

The show goes on

Norah Hogan December 1, 2020

Loyal members help keep independent cinemas afloat

Courtney Guarino December 1, 2020

Musicians deal with the reality of no live shows as covid takes center stage

Paola Michelle Ortiz December 1, 2020

 Black Friday’s Aftermath

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi November 30, 2020

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020