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With the pandemic affecting nearly every country, nationwide lockdowns have become the norm around the world. It gives us pause to see our bucket-list destinations out of bounds for now. But we also know that for us to travel tomorrow, we need to stay in today. Here’s a round-up of what the world looks like right now. By Team T+L
Towns, cities, and even entire countries have been forced to retreat indoors. Nothing quite drives home the extent of the pandemic than images of the world’s busiest landmarks—now strikingly desolate.
Never before have we seen, and hopefully never again will we see, such poignant frames of solitude. From a deserted Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Taj Mahal watched over by armed guards, these photographs from around the world paint a vivid, and stark, picture of the impact a tiny microorganism has had on the entire planet.
But where there is despair, there is also hope. When pianist Alberto Gestoso and saxophonist Alexander Lebron Torrent took to their respective adjacent balconies in Barcelona and performed a heart wrenching rendition of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, quarantined neighbours stepped out in their own balconies to cheer.
In various cities of Italy—one of the worst affected countries—people sang Bella Ciao, a popular resistance song, from their balconies.
Elsewhere, in the UK, paintings of rainbows began appearing on windows, turning homes into art galleries. Canadians, always polite and generous to a fault, started the unique trend of ‘caremongering’—an initiative of young, healthy people helping out the old and vulnerable with daily chores like grocery shopping to help them stay home—and it quickly caught on around the world.
While misinformation around pets spread in some communities, a Florida animal shelter saw for the first time ever—adoption of all of its dogs, as people sought company and comfort of pets inside their homes. We may be under the shadow of a particularly dark cloud, but we have at least recognised that we are all in this together.
It was this sentiment of solidarity that Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli alluded to, when he performed a live Easter concert in the empty Duomo Cathedral in Milan. “I believe in the strength of praying together”, he remarked on YouTube later.
Many miles north, Pope Francis walked into a vacant St Peter’s Basilica during the Easter Vigil, as millions joined him through television sets and digital platforms. “They did not stop loving; in the darkness of their hearts, they lit a flame of mercy,” he said to all of humankind.