Gladly we haven’t lost the capacity to come together for the common good

Gladly we haven’t lost the capacity to come together for the common good

With tight restrictions in place, cities all over the world are offered scenes that might follow a blizzard, overlaid on a sunny spring day. The photographs published by the New York Times recently are stunning! Read on to get a glimpse of The Great Empty, and some other photographs of empty streets and places.

the great empty

Empty streets

Now the world is on lockdown, we are all longing for positive messages to keep ourselves motivated during this age of coronavirus. There are many examples of those stories shared online. 

Ever since the coronavirus emerged in our lives and caused a tragedy, things have happened that we never predicted. The world is making history now. To capture a glimpse of that, The New York Times recently sent dozens of photographers out to make images of empty and abandoned public plazas, beaches, fairgrounds, restaurants, movie theaters, tourist meccas and train stations. The result is a photo series with extraordinary shots that certainly will last a lifetime.

As you can see, the New York Times published some of them on their Instagram-account:

Spooky, yet hopeful

As the coronavirus spreads in the US, people are self-isolating. Bustling metropolises like New York are now left eerily empty. The city now looks more like a ghost town and the images are spooky to the MAX! Like stills from movies about plagues and the apocalypse, yet in some ways they are hopeful.
Business Insider also put out some photographs of these empty spaces.

Moreover, those empty spaces also remind us that beauty requires human interaction. I don’t mean that buildings and fairgrounds and railway stations and temples can’t look eerily beautiful empty. Some of these sites, like many of these photographs, are works of art. Their emptiness trumpets and existence mostly divorced from human habitation and the messy thrum of daily life. They imagine and experience more akin to the wonder of bygone explorers coming upon the remains of a lost civilization. They evoke the romance of ruins. Beauty entails something else. It is something we bestow. It will be the moment we return.

These places present emptiness and abandonment. But promisingly, it also suggests that, by heeding the experts and staying apart, we have not yet lost the capacity to come together for the common good. If the need is large enough, we have already shown that we are capable of doing amazing things together. It never happens that the whole world fought against one common enemy and that it is within our own power to stop the crisis at the same time.


A crowded train seems like an image from another life. For the full shots of these empty streets, head over to the New York Times, or to Business Insider.

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