Satellite photos show areas before and after the coronavirus lockdown once busy places finally empty


Life around the globe has come to a virtual halt as the coronavirus pandemic has continued to spread.

Governments have imposed orders requesting their citizens self-isolate indoors and avoid crowds to curb the spread of the virus. 

Satellite images of before and after the outbreak show once usually busy areas all but deserted.

Planet Labs, an American private Earth imaging company based in San Francisco, shared the series of before and after images taken by its satellites on Monday just as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US hit 50,075 including 628 deaths.

The pictures include that of the San Francisco Bay Bridge which is eerily silent. The toll bridge normally sees 260,000 vehicles a day passing through its toll booths, but no more. 

People are staying away from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium leaving parking lots empty. 

Restrictions also apply to outdoor venues as beachgoers stay off the sands of Miami Beach and that of the world famous Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. 

Meanwhile, as airlines around the world park their planes due to falling numbers of air travelers, the Pinal Airpark in Arizona is now seeing more and more space being taken up by planes which are being parked up for the foreseeable future. 

Section of the Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles - 18th March 2020. - CORONAVIRUS then & now.

Los Angeles, California: A section of the Hollywood Freeway is seen here in Los Angeles  both on 6th February, before the outbreak and on 18th March. The freeway ranks as the most congested highway in the state. On an average weekday, people in Los Angeles City drive 9.3 miles. Most cars, trucks and buses travel at less than 35 mph during rush hour with around 379,000 vehicles using the highway each day

Tianjin, China: Volkswagen’s plant in Tianjin, China is pictured on May 1st, 2019. On March 17 the decision was made to halt production for up to three-weeks. The second photo sees the site pictured on March 3rd, by which time the plant had fallen silent

Wuhan, China: Wuhan’s Yingwuzhou Yangtze River Bridge is pictured firstly on January 12, one day after the first Covid-19 death. By the time the second photo was taken on January 28, Wuhan was under strict quarantine measures

Mecca, Saudi Arabia: The Great Mosque of Mecca , Islam’s holiest site. Millions of Muslims usually make their way to the Hajj pilgrimage. On February 27, Saudi Arabia closed its borders. The site suspended all entrance and prayers on March 20 leaving the holy mosque empty. At the peak of the pilgrimage some 2 million people from around the world make their way to the site at once

Disney World, Orlando, Florida: Epcot Center, part of the Walt Disney World theme park is pictures here. January 6 shows how the park was bustling with visitors. In the second photo, the site is pictured on March 18, two days after the theme park suspended operations. On average 53,000 people visit Disney World each day with around 32,000 heading to Epcot, here. After the restrictions came into place, its vast parking lots were empty of visitors’ cars

Las Vegas, Nevada: Sin City, famous for its massive hotels and casino’s is pictured first on 26th January 2020. Parking lots are busy and the city’s streets are teeming with life. The second picture is from March 17th, by which time things were all but closed. The city hosts more than 40 million visitors each year with most staying for around three days

Miami Beach, Florida: First seen on November 27th 2019 complete with busy beaches and full parking lots as the Thanksgiving weekend got underway. By March 20th, the beaches were completely deserted as beachgoers stayed away. More than 16.5 million people visited Miami in 2018

Pinal Airpark, Arizona: The site is pictured on January 11th and again on March 17th. The Airpark’s primary function serves as a boneyard for civilian commercial aircraft, where the area’s dry desert climate mitigates corrosion of the aircraft. As more airlines around the world parked up their planes due to the spread of the virus, the tarmac appeared to fill up

Bay Bridge Toll, San Francisco - 16th March 2020. - CORONAVIRUS then & now.

Bay Bridge Toll, San Francisco, California. The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, known locally as the Bay Bridge, is a complex of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay which carried about 260,000 each day. It is pictured first on February 19th with lanes of traffic lining up to use the toll. Less than a month later, the bridge had fallen eerily silent 

Shedd Aquarium (middle top), Soldier Field (bottom left) & harbor area, Chicago - 17th March 2020. - CORONAVIRUS then & now.

Chicago, Illinois: The Shedd Aquarium (middle top), and Soldier Field home of the Chicago Bears (bottom left) is seen on  February 19th in the first photo with plenty of visitors to the popular Windy City attraction. Nobody was around by 17th March. Every year Shedd Aquarium welcomes two million guests for up-close encounters with belugas and stingrays

Google HQ & NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California - 19th March 2020

Mountain View, California: Google HQ & NASA Ames Research Center is seen on February 24th with the workplace parking lots full of cars. Three weeks later, by March 17th, vast areas of tarmac are visible as workers stayed at home. Around 23,000 people work at the complex on any given workday

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 28th April 2018.

The famous Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is seen firstly on 28th April, 2018 and then taken last week. The beach, which runs for 2.2 miles is almost entirely empty amid coronavirus-related closures. On New Year Eve, it’s not uncommon to see almost 3 million people gathered on the soft powdery sands

Venice, Italy: The City of Bridges is show to be full of life in a picture from October 20th, 2019. By March 8th when the second photo was taken, Italy’s Prime Minister ordered a lockdown of the country’s northern region, which includes Venice. The canals of Venice suddenly became still and clear. Venice’s usually murky canals have become clear enough since lockdown to see schools of fish underwater. White swans are also roaming canals which have been left deserted by tourists

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