It’s like something out of a disaster film: deserted streets, empty sidewalks, boarded-up storefronts. But unlike all the zombie and alien-invasion movies that preceded them, the real photos and videos showing quarantined cities from around the world suggest the possibility of a hopeful future. Humanity is self-isolating, social distancing, and, yes, quarantining in an effort to beat back the coronavirus

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the drone videos are as surreal as the experience itself. 

A collection of news agencies, reporters, and hobbyists have (remotely) taken to the streets to document the various closures and bans that are our new reality. From San Francisco to Paris, some of the world’s most recognizable cities have taken on an entirely new look.


Aerial footage shows nearly empty streets in Paris as France goes into unprecedented peacetime lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Latest updates on the pandemic: 

3092:50 PM – Mar 19, 2020

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Eerie drone video of the vacant streets of Boston during the coronavirus shutdown.

video @BostonGlobe 1,0319:14 AM – Mar 19, 2020

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GHOST TOWN: Incredible drone video from above shows some #Pittsburgh bridges during rush hour. Normally thousands commute, but now just a handful due to the #coronavirus.

2,4819:52 PM – Mar 19, 2020

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Kevin Beaumont@GossiTheDog

Drone on the way into Manchester city center this evening.

I may start doing a weekly live stream here if there’s any interest.

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5912:50 AM – Mar 23, 2020

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ITV News Westcountry✔@itvwestcountry


This is Bristol as you’ve never seen it before – on #lockdown.

Drone pictures show the city’s empty streets today as people are asked to #StayAtHome to stop the spread of #COVID19. 6112:15 AM – Mar 25, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy27 people are talking about this

As the number of people infected with the coronavirus continues to climb — the World Health Organization lists the count of confirmed cases at 413,467 as of the time of this writing — more and more people are staying inside and socially distancing in a desperate bid to slow the virus’ spread. 

These drone videos, hopefully, will inspire people in areas not yet slammed by the effects of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, to do the same. Because just like those disaster movies, we’re all in this together.


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