On The Town

Scenes from a Silent City

In less than one week, social distancing transforms Baltimore from bustling to still.

Lorann Cocca | March 18, 2020, 4:21 pm

A lone passerby crosses Fleet Street after Governor Hogan closes all gyms, bars, and restaurants amid COVID-19 outbreak. -Photography by Lorann Cocca
On The Town

Scenes from a Silent City

In less than one week, social distancing transforms Baltimore from bustling to still.

Lorann Cocca | March 18, 2020, 4:21 pm

A lone passerby crosses Fleet Street after Governor Hogan closes all gyms, bars, and restaurants amid COVID-19 outbreak. -Photography by Lorann Cocca

With mandated closures and practices of social distancing sweeping the state, Baltimoreans are forced to adapt to their new normal amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Here, we take a look at city spaces that were once full—congested Inner Harbor streets now silent, stocked grocery store shelves now barren, bustling restaurants now indefinitely shut down—as Charm City slows down to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Empty shelves in the bath tissue aisle of Safeway in Canton.
Angeli's Pizzeria, which, like many Little Italy spots, is offering takeout and delivery while dining rooms are indefinitely closed. -Photography by Lorann Cocca
The deserted Inner Harbor intersection at East Pratt Street and Market Place.
A city dweller searches for groceries on empty shelves at Safeway in Canton.
Desolate streets in Harbor East.
Local wellbeing facilitator Shelley Brown passes out red enamel heart pins outside Lighthouse Liquors in Canton, "I don't know what else to do for humanity," she says.

“Can I give you a heart?” Shelley Brown, a local wellbeing facilitator and speaker, asks the stream of patrons entering Lighthouse Liquors in Canton. While many decline, some brighten and carefully pluck a red enamel heart pin from her gloved palm.

“I don’t know what else to do for humanity,” she explains to passerbys. The pins are a symbol of mindfulness, as Brown encourages those who carry them to practice being present. “With everything that’s going on, our fear and our panic take us into the future of things that we actually have no control over. You can hold space for that emotion and notice it, but also remember you’re right here, right now.”





You May Also Like


The Chatter

What Will Druid Hill Park Look Like in Two Years?

As Druid Lake Reservoir overhaul continues, city leaders consider activation options.

The Chatter

‘The Diamondback’ Ends Print Edition After 110 Years

The University of Maryland newspaper became online-only this month.

The Chatter

Maryland Braces for Spread of Coronavirus

Governor Hogan announces a broad list of new actions, including the closure of all public schools.


The Chatter

Goucher College Unveils Roadside Marker Honoring Suffragette History

Descendants of women’s rights advocates recognized at special ceremony.

The Chatter

Baltimore Hip-Hop Artists Lead Music Education Panel at SXSW

Former teachers shed light on hip-hop’s place in academia at the famous Austin, Texas festival.

The Chatter

Lexington Market Renovation Will Break Ground Next Week

Developers and city leaders talk safety and environmental concerns as work gets underway.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Local Boutiques Offer Deals and Online Shopping Amid Coronavirus Outbreak: Opening and closing updates from the retail scene.

Baltimore Restaurants Cope With Indefinite Closures: Chefs introduce curbside takeout and delivery while weighing options for staff.

How to Support Small Businesses Amid Pandemic Panic: As foot traffic slows due to coronavirus, owners worry about lasting impacts.

John Waters Flexes Acting Muscles on 'Law & Order: SVU': The Baltimore icon will guest star on an episode of the NBC show later this month.

Maryland Hoops, and Everyone Else, Stomachs A Sudden End to Their Seasons: Plus, an update on Trey Mancini’s health and Joe Flacco shows for Marshal Yanda’s retirement party