You may wake up, look out the window and be struck by how things seem pretty normal.
Spring is coming, trees are flowering, birds are chirping.
And if you go to the kitchen to make breakfast and see that someone in your household left dirty dishes in the sink, you'd be peeved.
Yet in March of 2020, these touch points of daily life are in sharp contrast with the overwhelming sense that our world is dramatically different. A walk down supermarket aisles may make you feel as if you've entered into an apocalyptic movie. You can see the anxiety in the eyes of the other shoppers. No apples? No chicken? No toilet paper? And where's the hand sanitizer?
It's all because of a virus first identified in December that has now swept the globe.
Masks are everyday wear (even as scientists repeatedly note that they offer no protection to the average person on the street). No one wants to touch anything for fear of becoming infected — the strap in a bus, the handle of a door, the hand of a friend. Yet people still try to keep calm and keep up their spirits — only with added layers of precautions.
Here are images of our strange, new life in the uncertain age of coronavirus.
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Ben de la Cruz is an award-winning documentary video producer and multimedia journalist. He is currently a senior visuals editor. In addition to overseeing the multimedia coverage of NPR's global health and development, his responsibilities include working on news products for emerging platforms including Amazon's and Google's smart screens. He is also part of a team developing a new way of thinking about how NPR can collaborate and engage with our audience as well as photographers, filmmakers, illustrators, animators, and graphic designers to build new visual storytelling avenues on NPR's website, social media platforms, and through live events.
Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.