Candid Camera

The Haunting, Beautiful Drone Footage of Cities Under Quarantine

From London to Manhattan, you've never seen cityscapes this empty before.

3. 23. 20 by Jon Christian
Washington Post
Image by Washington Post

As the coronavirus rages, huge swathes of the world population are choosing to stay home to prevent spreading it.

The result is an unprecedented desolation in urban centers. It almost evokes a post-apocalyptic movie — except that you know that everybody’s still out there, hiding out at home. In a must-read photo essay, The New York Times called it a “great emptiness.”

Here are some of the most incredible drone videos to capture that enormous public loneliness.

Wuhan, China

This is where the devastation all began, just months ago — and this footage shows its public areas largely abandoned, beneath ominous grey skies.


Los Angeles, California

It’s hard to imagine the City of Angels without throngs of tourists, film crews and the occasional star. In this clip, though, it looks as desolate as the set of a post-apocalyptic film.

Paris, France

France has been slammed by the coronavirus — and it shows in this eerie footage of its iconic streets, all but empty as residents shelter indoors.

New York, New York

The sheer scale of Manhattan gives a strange gravity to its near-empty streets — especially at night.

Boston, Massachusetts

It’s hard to imagine Boston with the hubbub of a Red Sox game or a show at TD Garden. But this haunting footage shows Fenway Park as deserted as the city streets.


London, UK

London’s classic streetscapes and quintessential subway stations don’t feel quite the same without a crush of commuters and travelers.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, compared to major metropolises, is a small town. But this clip of its main drag, almost completely deserted, shows what it’s like when Music City goes silent.


And finally, from photographer Noah Kalina, check out this thread of webcams on various destinations around the world:


More on the coronavirus: Doctors Think This May Be the First Symptom of the Coronavirus

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