Under the quarantine order to combat the spread of the covid-19, Barcelona displays empty streets at any time of the day. During the ban on the movement of people except for the purchase of groceries, medicines and traffic to jobs that cannot be done remotely, workers dedicated to delivery services are the only bicycles that can be seen on streets once populated by cars, pedestrians and cyclists of all kinds.
Buses, reduced to 50% of normal circulation, tend to run with very few passengers. The limitation of 20 passengers per bus, 30 in the case of double buses, does not even seem close to being achieved on a normal weekday.
An alley next to the iconic Sagrada Família reflects well the desert aspect of the city that just a few weeks ago teemed with tourism, an economic activity responsible for approximately 9% of Barcelona’s jobs.
Gloves and surgical masks have become common garments among the few citizens who walk the streets, mostly carrying bags or shopping carts.
A woman accompanied by two children, the three wearing masks, walk on one of the main avenues in the city of Barcelona, the Meridiana, in a desert setting. The displacement of civilians is closely monitored by police rounds and they often require the citizens concerned to present a justification (made available online by the government), which includes the place of residence, work and the reason for being away from home.
Local fruit and vegetable shops endure the first week of quarantine, but many are already announcing the closure for the next two weeks, as is the case of this one, at the Navas neighborhood. The cashier, a Chinese immigrant, explained that stocks are low and so is movement, so they decided to close the next day for a period of two weeks. Supermarkets, however, have lines that often extend along the sidewalks since the distance of one meter between each citizen must be respected.
A health worker is preparing for the disinfection of a bank agency in the Eixample neighborhood while an ordinary citizen seems to be returning from grocery shopping. The first makes a call, the second chats through the Whatsapp application, neither seems to notice the presence of the other, in a natural expression of the social distance required by the crisis.