Coronavirus… or Covid-19; unless you’ve been living in cave under a rock on Pluto (which was probably a smart move) then you can’t have avoided some form of the colossal impact that this global pandemic has had on us all.
Different countries have endured different levels of severity, different infection rates and mortality curves.
Different countries have deployed different rules and restrictions to contain the outbreak and to attempt to flatten the R0.
Here in Portugal we were restricted in who we could see, where we could go and how long we could leave the house for.
As the crisis stabilised, restrictions were eased and personal freedoms expanded.
I of course followed the legal requirements at all times. Mercifully none of these restrictions prevented me from taking a camera with me! Although the several weeks we spent not being allowed out longer than 30mins and not permitted to leave our own postcode (zip code) didn’t yield a great many pictures you’re going to see here!
As I sit here typing this, the North of Portugal is basically open. Face masks are a legal necessity and for the first time ever, my hands have seen more alcohol than my liver, but this is a small price to pay for the safety of those around us and our migration to the new normal (if you imagine what Osama Bin Laden did for navigating airport security, then Coronavirus will be doing the same for being out in public)
I’ve taken many photos during lockdown. Largely of my kid and the cat… but I’ve also documented the world as I’ve found it and this first part of the series focuses on the world as it appeared during lockdown
(Please do note there’s some artistic licence here… I have pictures below taken after lockdown, ergo I was allowed there, however the scenes presented would have looked the same during the lockdown, which is the reason for their inclusion here)
This is part one of a two part series.
This is a world closed and empty.
Closed Shops and Empty Shelves
Where I live there are many local stores and business (that aren’t chains). The humanistic impact of this virus (both health and economic) will be felt for a long, long time within the community
Locked Doors and Barred Windows
Places that should be teaming with life during a beautiful spring were simply barren.
Chain Chairs Waiting
The world stopped on red and seemed poised to get going, but the green light will be a very slow illuminator…
This is one of the busiest streets in Porto. Normally it wouldn’t be this empty even in the small hours of the morning
It was like the people had simply disappeared…
These chairs usually occupied and usually occupy most of the pathway!
When I first moved here, this staircase was fairly undiscovered by tourists. Last year it had coffee bars and pop-up artisan stores… and this year?
June normally sees city wide street parties…. Normally.
The whole city seemed to vibrate to an eerie fear of the outdoors
The People Live in the Walls
Porto is pretty densely populated place. The people are all inside.
Barriers to Beauty
For a long, long time we had only pharmacies and supermarkets.
To see Sao Bento so empty is such a bizarre and dreamlike sensation.
I’m sure that all of you have had equally surreal experiences where ever you are… But the end (and the end is the new normal) is in sight.
But what does the city look and feel like when it opens after so long?
Take care, it’s not over yet… stay safe and be careful.
See more of my work on Instagram and Flickr
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