As the lockdown reached its one month anniversary in Lebanon today. April 2nd, the streets of empty Beirut still creeks peaceful voidness as Beirut’s stray cats run around freely.
Every once in a while, the humans of Beirut lose against their instinct to go out and socialize, and we find Beirut hoarding with cars and people. Then again, they return home after they remember -and sometimes are reminded- that quarantine is actually for the benefit of their health and the health of Lebanon.
Chief Photographer at the Associated Press Beirut Bureau Hussein Malla used his drone to videotape empty Beirut on a Thursday, a weekday that is usually jammed with traffic like every other weekday in Beirut.
We may have missed a lot of things about Beirut, but we definitely do not miss the traffic (which happened to be all the time). I’m personally enjoying the sounds of birds chirping over the honking of car drivers when a car stops for the red light instead of passing it.
Malla shows Beirut’s Ain Mraisse, Bab Idriss, and Downtown from above using the drone. Even though the scene may look surprising and so not Beirut-ish, it still looks incredible.
Despite heavy restrictions, curfews, and lockdowns, most of the Lebanese people are being responsible enough and staying home. Other people are refusing the quarantine.
The refusal is being met by nice and gentle security forces escorting them home, with a 50,000 LBP fine.
The general mobilization has been recently extended for the second time and is said to be extended again until the coronavirus (COVID-19) is contained and the country is no longer pandemic.
The long days of quarantine may seem hard now, but better stay home in empty Beirut while it’s still cold and raining than miss the long beach days and the camps during the summer. Remember, Beirut’s beaches and Lebanon’s forests are waiting for us!
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