Life under coronavirus: 24 hours around the world in pictures

24 pictures from a single day show how coronavirus has changed lives around the world.
Published March 26, 2020

Over a 24-hour period, in a world where a third of humanity is now under orders to stay home, AFP photographers have captured snapshots of daily life during the coronavirus pandemic.

From Paris to Santa Monica, Dhaka to Panama, life has shuddered to a halt in varying degrees, with the closure of bars and other non-essential businesses and school classes suspended, while gatherings are banned, transport is limited and beaches and parks now no-go zones.

Here are 24 photographs, taken from Monday to Tuesday, showing scenes playing out in countries around the globe, of deserted roads and city centres, people working at home, pupils being schooled online, lonely funerals and spontaneous concerts from balconies.

Empty streets, closed doors


Dressed in protective gear, an Italian funeral services employee in Bergamo province takes photos of the coffin of someone who has died and is being buried without their loved ones permitted to attend the cemetery due to quarantine restrictions.


The Champs-Elysees, Paris' legendary avenue, usually thronging with tourists and people taking a stroll, is deserted.

Hong Kong

In the normally buzzing bar and restaurant district of Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong singer and Elvis impersonator Kwok Lam-sang, 67, is all alone, guitar slung across his shoulder

Cafes on usually busy streets have fallen silent.


Palestinians pray in front of the entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest site, after it was closed by the Waqf, the Muslim foundation that runs the compound.


Senegal's religious Layene Brotherhood has cancelled its annual pilgrimage to the sacred cave of Almadies.


Thai people confined to their homes in the centre of Bangkok, before a state of emergency was introduced.

Working at home and homeschooling


While her daughters play in the room next door, Yuki Sato, a Japanese employee of a start-up company, works at home.


Indian Diya Roy Chowdhury, who works in human relations for a Mumbai company, takes a break on her sofa after setting up a home office. Working at home has both pros and cons, she says.

Dura, Palestinian Territories

Palestinian teacher Jihad Abu Sharar holds her class online from her home near Hebron, following the closure of schools.


Five at the dining table, one on the bed and another at the computer: a picture of homeschooling as a family after the closure of schools.

Kuwait city

Clutching their pencils and with their exercise books laid on the table, pupils follow their lessons by computer at home.

Buenos Aires

Food delivery rider Dixon Abreu pedals along July 9 Avenue, bringing food orders to those confined in the city.


Fashion designer David Avido, 24, is making masks with left-over fabric from his creations and is giving them away.

Santa Monica

"We've arrived at the ocean, guys!" says the head of Surf City Tours Adam Duford in California, who is organising virtual trips via mobile phones and social networks.


Employees of Norwegian Cruise Line clean a cruise ship. Several cruise liners have become stranded over suspected or proven cases of Covid-19 on board.

Playing and running alone


On the roof of his building, a Greek artist displays graffiti urging people to stay home and to wear a mask.

Tel Aviv

Israeli saxophonist Yarden Klayman plays for her neighbours in the city's Basel district, after having had to cancel her concert following a ban on non-essential travel.


In Bangladesh, Samin Shara, nine, plays alone with a ball on the roof of his apartment building.


A jogger in Britain finds she has Greenwich Park in southeast London to herself.


Thanks to an online pilates course, a Cypriot woman exercises at home, while her dog stretches too beside her.

Tangerang, Indonesia

Indonesian Bambang Soetono and his relatives hold midday prayers at home in this town on Java, after religious authorities urged the faithful to stay home to pray.


Cello player Karina Nunez plays on her balcony for her neighbours during the lockdown.


Brazilian graffiti artist Rafamon projects a work onto a large screen colourfully declaring: "Vai Passar" or "It Will Pass".