On The Town

Scenes from a Silent City

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

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.

“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.”