clock menu more-arrow no yes

Before-and-after aerial photos show how coronavirus is changing life in America

No one is visiting the Statue of Liberty anymore.

In just a few short weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has completely changed life in America.

Almost no one is visiting the Statue of Liberty. Ice rinks in New York City are abandoned. The parking lots of once-bustling New England ski resorts are empty. Airports are devoid of planes, while rental car parking lots are chock full.

This transformation is eerily evident in satellite images captured by the private space firm Maxar Technologies. The photos, which Maxar shared with Vox, show five popular locations across the country both before and after the outbreak. Collectively, they show a country grinding to a halt as people stay inside and avoid large crowds to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

It’s a startling sign of the impact social distancing is having on the United States, both economically and in terms of the normalcy of everyday life. As fewer people fly, visit cultural sites, and go on vacation, parts of America are, in essence, turning into ghost towns. And while such measures are necessary to slow the outbreak that is ravaging other countries, it’s still stunning to see.

The satellite images showing the dramatic changes taking place throughout the country are below.

Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, New York City

November 4, 2019 and March 11, 2020. Satellite images ©2020 Maxar Technologies.

Salt Lake City International Airport, Utah

March 5, 2020 and March 16, 2020. Satellite images ©2020 Maxar Technologies.

Statue of Liberty, New York City

November 4, 2019 and March 11, 2020. Satellite images ©2020 Maxar Technologies.

Rental car facility at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona

March 5, 2020 and March 16, 2020. Satellite images ©2020 Maxar Technologies.

Killington Ski Resort, Vermont

January 30, 2020 and March 16, 2020. Satellite images ©2020 Maxar Technologies.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.