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Drone videos of quarantined cities around the world are both eerie and inspiring

The Bay Area starts to shut down. The Bay Area starts to shut down.

Image: Jane Tyska / getty

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.

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. 

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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.