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Photo journey down barren streets of Detroit during stay-at-home order

June 5, 2020

Photo by Jack Peltz

Woodward, near Comerica Park and the Fillmore Theater, on April 14, reveals near empty streets as the COVID 19 virus swept through the city, making it one of the virus hot spots and highlighting how economic disparity played a role in the spread and treatment of the disease. 

 

 

I had seen the images and videos coming out of Wuhan of empty streets and boarded up shops, but I never imagined that I would ever see anything like that here, until COVID-19 came here and Michigan, especially Detroit, became a hot spot. 

 

On April 14 my mom and I traveled to Detroit to see the effect the corona-virus had on the city. While I expected it to be empty, I never expected it to be as barren as it was. The once bustling city looked like something out of an apocalypse movie. Roads were barren. Sidewalks empty. The few out walking seemed to be in some sort of trance, standing on the side of the road and staring at our car as it passed, seemingly warning us of danger.  One of those dangers revealed is clearly how racial inequity led to more deaths in the African American community than others.

 

Photo by Jack Peltz

I shot this from Woodward looking down Clifford Street, and this Detroiter was the only person I saw out walking there on April 14.

 

With 11068 confirmed cases and 1380 deaths  in just Detroit as of June 2, it is clear that this virus has had a severe impact in our area and worse in areas of greater poverty and inequality. While the curve is slowly going down,  Dr. Fauci and governor Whitmer warn that it will likely spike again, especially during the fall when temperatures and humidity drop. 

 

Photo by Jack Peltz 

This sign at Larned Street, just past the Renaissance Center, seemed superfluous on April 14. 

 

Photo by Jack Peltz

Steam rises from the grates along Woodward, adding to the ghostly feel of the city and the empty Hart Plaza. 

 

 

After seeing the further economic depression in Detroit first hand,  I hope we all do our part in making sure that any second wave will not be as bad as the first. We must take all the precautions as advised by the CDC, and  not underestimate this virus, especially as we go through the phases of opening our economy, and the streets of Detroit and other cities once more fill with potential carriers of the disease, and the more important lesson that racial injustice has deadly consequences.

 

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