This photo book, featuring abandoned landmarks and barren streets at the peak COVID-19 wave 1, offers a glimpse back to the worst and most uncertain aspects of the pandemic.

Jeffrey Loria, an art dealer, and Julie Loria created ‘Silent Cities : Portraits a Pandemic : 15 Cities Across a World’ using photos from March and April 2020. It was published on November 23, 2018.

The collection, published by Skyhorse Publishing and distributed by Simon & Schuster, includes jarring photos of usually bustling cityscapes bereft of any and all human activity as people and governments navigated the early days of COVID.

Photos from New York, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Paris, London, Miami, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Chicago, Los Angeles, Rome, Rio De Janeiro, San Francisco, Washington, DC are featured in the book. 

One photo shows a freeway that leads into downtown Los Angeles, which is usually jammed with traffic at rush hour. It’s shown in front of several skyscrapers.

COVID-19 was found for the first times in Wuhan (China) in December 2019. The virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China by US intelligence agencies. It is believed that the virus may have infected people through an initial small-scale infection which occurred not later than November 2019.

A freeway leading into downtown Los Angeles, usually covered in bumper-to-bumper traffic, appears empty during the early days of lockdown, as documented in the new book 'Silent Cities: Portraits of a Pandemic: 15 Cities Across the World'

The freeway that leads into Los Angeles from downtown is often clogged with traffic.

The iconic Harrods department store in London overlooks a deserted street with a single car passing by

London’s iconic Harrods department shop overlooks an abandoned street that only one car passes. 

Also in London, digital billboards promote Disney+ and eBay to no one as a PSA warns people to stay home

London also has digital billboards that promote Disney+ or eBay.

Jeffrey Loria

Julie Loria

Silent Cities was created by Jeffrey Loria and Julie Loria, husband-and-wife collectors of art. Jeffrey (81), is the ex-owner of two MLB teams: the Montreal Expos in Montreal and the Miami Marlins. Now the Washington Nationals.

The origins of the virus are still in debate, with US intelligence agencies believing it could have resulted from a laboratory accident or through natural exposure at China wet market, though many believe it was engineered by the Communist regime as a chemical weapon.

China quickly secured the country by publishing the sequence genetics of the virus’s genome on January 5, 2020. The virus was finally confirmed in Thailand eight days later.

On January 20, Washington, the US confirmed the first known case. 

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared that the virus was a pandemic. This prompted a rush of safety and security measures, as well as a shortage in everything, from face masks to toilet paper.

Photo from ‘Silent Cities,’ April 10, 2020. It shows Times Square empty and populated by only banners advertising Broadway shows which were on hiatus. 

One man rides a bicycle along Bond Street, London. He is looking away at the Allies sculpture that depicts Winston Churchill (former British Prime Minister) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (former US President).

A docked cruise ship sits eerily empty at the MacArthur Causeway in Miami as cruise trips were halted

The MacArthur Causeway, Miami: A cruise ship that was docked is eerily vacant as it attempts to stop cruises

A sign on a metal barricade warns people to keep away from the Eiffel Tower, a usually crowded affair

The sign warns them to avoid the Eiffel Tower. It is a popular attraction that’s often packed.

Signs promoting paused Broadway shows and shuttered restaurants are the only thing that populated Times Square in New York City in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic

In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Times Square was populated only by signs promoting shuttered restaurants and Broadway shows that were canceled.

A lone man on a bicycle pedals away from the Allies sculpture of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in London

One man pedals on his bicycle away from the Allies statue of Winston Churchill in London.

In London, there are digital signs that promote Disney+ streaming services and eBay to anyone at Piccadilly Circus. A second ad advises that people should “stay home.” Save the NHS. Save Lives.

Italy’s locked down residents wore red T-shirts and held them up from their balconies to show respect for the country. 

Moderna initiated the first COVID-19 vaccination trial in humans just days after it was declared a pandemic by the WHO.

Global economic turmoil was caused by shutdowns and appeals to people to remain home. Small businesses were forced to shut down, many people lost their jobs, and Americans made more on increased unemployment benefits.

Based on the averages for the first three quarters 2019 and 2020, 9.6 million Americans (16-64) lost their jobs. This is according to Pew Research Center. 

Only 2.6 Million workers between 15 and 64 in the European Union lost their jobs during this time, despite having a greater population. 

Globally, the virus has claimed 5.26 million lives. More than 780,000 deaths have been attributed to COVID in the US. 

Skyhorse Publishing released a statement saying that hospitals were full, subways empty, parks and landmarks deserted, healthcare workers become increasingly tired and frustrated and almost all human activity stopped.

The Great Wall and The Colosseum in photographs look manipulated, but there are no tourists. The book is a visual narrative that documents the emptiness of these places, and offers a means to reflect on it. It’s something that we all have seen, and which is easily relatable a year later.

A locked down Italian resident pays homage to his country by recreating the Italian flag using T-shirts

Un prisoned Italian citizen pays respect to his homeland by recreating its flag with T-shirts

A sign at the empty Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC warns people to keep their distance to slow the spread of COVID-19

To slow down the spread of COVID-19, a sign is posted at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial.

On April 12, 2020, a woman looks at her phone as a police car passes in front of her by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

A woman is looking at her smartphone as a car of police passes her in Paris’ Arc de Triomphe on April 12, 2020.

Midtown Manhattan looks unusually calm in the middle of the day as governments figured out how to handle the pandemic in March and April of last year

Midtown Manhattan is unusually quiet in the middle-of-the-day, because governments have been able to deal with the pandemic of March and April 2013 in last year’s New York City

The business closures from last year's stay-at-home orders forced many small businesses to close their doors for good. To date, the US economy remains about 4 million jobs down from pre-pandemic levels. Above, Grand Central in Manhattan

Many small businesses had to shut down due to the closures resulting from stay-at home orders last year. Up to date, approximately 4,000,000 jobs are still lost in the US economy compared with pre-pandemic. Above: Grand Central, Manhattan

Jeffrey Loria (a husband-and-wife art dealer duo, based out of New York City) compiled the book. You can purchase it on Amazon starting at $35

Jeffrey (81) specializes in masterpieces from the 19th- and 20th centuries by Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso. Julie, however, is a specialist in contemporary art.

Silent Cities was released on November 23 by Skyhorse Publishing. It's selling for $35 on Amazon

Skyhorse Publishing published Silent Cities November 23. Amazon has it for sale at $35

Jeffrey was the owner of Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos and Miami Marlins.

Skyhorse explained that photos depict a wide range of emotions. From the psychological and physical burden of caskets being taken to Rio’s cemeteries to the completely empty Times Square, Rodeo Drive and the patriotic pride shown in Rome’s tee-shirt display celebrating their Italian flag colors and as a symbol to hope, the photos capture a spectrum of emotions. 

‘The photographs are not only a reminder of the harrowing pandemic that hushed some of the world’s greatest urban streets, but also proof that across the globe, we were all in this together. There is beauty hidden in the starkness of these photos, and most important, hope.

The Eiffel Tower is shown in Paris as it has been divided behind a rail that bears a warning sign. A sign at Washington, DC warns people visiting the Lincoln Memorial that they should keep their distance “to slow down the spread of COVID-19.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the USA, 4 million US jobs are still at risk from the pre-pandemic level. However, the rate of unemployment has gradually recovered to 4.2 percent, compared with a high of 14.8 per cent in April 2020 when mass layoffs started.