Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Entrance to our neighbor Curtis Fesser’s backyard, landscaping and creating art are his favorite hobbies, April 20, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

Thinking of Texas, no one would imagine the beautiful, lush, green, jungle-like landscape around my parents’ neighborhood in Dallas.

Social distancing and self-isolation haven’t been easy for anyone. And depending on where you are and what your circumstances are, this situation can be much harder and take a much greater toll on peoples’ lives.

I consider myself very lucky and am not taking any of the comforts I’ve been allowed to enjoy for granted.

Enjoying the hidden backyard sanctuaries around our house and going on my daily walks through our typically suburban neighborhood helped me keep my sanity and find solace.

Distantly waving and shouting “Hi” and “Good Morning” to other people walking their dogs around the neighborhood, has made me feel less isolated and gives me a sense of unity – a sense of “we’re all in this together.”

The silver lining to all this is that in being “forced” to slow down and discover the hidden treasures and normally unnoticed details around me.

Vicky, my stepmother, smells a rose in our neighbor Fesser’s backyard, April 20, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

Every day I walk one to one and a half hours through our neighborhood. East Dallas, Texas, April 23, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

Wooden buddha statue surrounded by mini buddha heads in our neighbor Fesser’s backyard, April 27, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

Early morning, my neighbor’s property, April 23, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

A rare moment to seeing so many people out during lockdown, March 31, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

Vicky, my stepmother, keeps her mask on after returning from the supermarket to help with the pollen in the air, April 10, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

The neighborhood has a mix of classic suburban and mid-century modern homes, April 23, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

As spring begins, bees are also starting to pollinate, April 20, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

Our yorkie-poodle mix Lola sits in the car as my father, Dieter, approaches to wave us goodbye, March 27, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

A cactus flower in our yard after a morning rain, April 19, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

In a recent storm, the trunk of this tree cracked, but it still continues to grow, April 25, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

A pair of abandoned shoes I encountered during one of my walks, April 8, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

A wild peacock peeks into the window beside our front door, April 3, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

A woman in the neighborhood listens to music while pulling weeds in front of her house, April 6, 2020. Photo by Susanne Schweitzer

This is a project of  Lori Grinker’s  NYU graduate photojournalism class.


Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

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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

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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

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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

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Small business owners hope for future relief

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Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

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NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

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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

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

ICE takes aim at international students

Maria Abreu July 10, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

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Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020

Overseas Singaporeans have pandemic obstacles to voting

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Proximity sensors and hygiene stations are the “new normal”

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 Tour ticket vendors miss the hustle and bustle of Times Square

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