Paris in the Age of COVID-19

Apr 28, 2020  By Ludovic Vauthier

All images by Ludovic Vauthier

On March 17, 2020, at 12.00, President Macron declared that France would be contained and all citizens would be under strict orders to live under the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Citizens were allowed to go out of their homes under certain circumstances and for essentials such as grocery shopping, a medical emergency. We were allowed to take a walk for one hour a day within a one-kilometer radius. I decided to use the precious one-hour walk as an opportunity to capture this historical event on a daily basis with my Leica SL2.

The privation of basic human rights creates a lot of mix feelings. In these images, you can see the fear on the faces of people who are concerned about getting enough food. You can see loneliness in the elderly and homeless people.

Moreover, you can witness modern heroes who keep our city clean and take care of the sick. You can also witness moments of grace when an opera singer offering a free concert at her window, kids playing with nothing, lovers who are remind us that in life we can remain strong.

Normal life and total freedom may not come back soon. Unfortunately, during this time, the superb work of Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration during the Depression in the U.S. has begun to resonate in my mind.

Below are some images that have been inspired during this lockdown.

1. On the first days of containment, people were storing food and toilet papers more than necessary. There was a general run to convenient stores, supermarkets.

2 & 3: Elderly people are the main victims of social distanciation

4: This river bank is one of the key artery of Paris. Normally trafic is very dense.

5: Street cleaning workers belongs to the modern heroes category by keeping our cities clean

6 & 7: Trocadero square is a hot spot for kids who can play 1h/day.

8 & 9: despite this dramatic moment, love strength remains intact

10: an opera singer at her window giving a brief free concert.#

Click on images to enlarge.

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