Toronto is starting to feel like a ghost town as COVID-19 cases rise
Toronto's public transit system may still be up and running despite stern calls for "social distancing" from public health officials, but with concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak prompting a literal state of emergency in Ontario it doesn't seem to matter much.
Toronto streets are eerily quiet tonight, it looks like the message to #selfisolate to prevent the spread of #Coronavirus is finally getting through! Keep it up fellow Torontonians; #DontBeASpreader pic.twitter.com/MpH4ZdWZRw— Catriplej (@Catriplej) March 17, 2020
Governments are urging anyone with even mild symptoms (or, in the case of Torontonians, no symptoms) to stay home if they can as cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus rise, making major cities that are usually bustling feel like relative ghost towns.
Empty train station, street cars, buses during rush hour. Surreal experience but also thankful to people cooperating to help contain the spread of #COVID19. #Coronavirustoronto pic.twitter.com/Ebegi026XR— Monica Pereira (@webbed_vagabond) March 17, 2020
Few things illustrate this phenomenon better than photos taken in downtown Toronto during rush hour this week.
What's usually a hectic display of people cramming themselves into streetcars, cringing as they jostle for precious handrail space or scowling on subway platforms was like something out of a post-apocalyptic zombie movie... minus the zombies.
It's a scene unfamiliar to many in the city — and it's making some people nervous.
Holy fuckballs! This is rush hour on Line 1!— Panarchist Puddy Tat (@Methadone_Cat) March 17, 2020
It's the End of Days. pic.twitter.com/A7kFk21ENB
Others are loving the rare opportunity for a private TTC ride.
Went in to the office to pick up some gear and heading back home...had the streetcar to myself. Good job Toronto! pic.twitter.com/gBtJng1z9N— Mais Raad (@MaisRR) March 17, 2020
Not to mention the speedier commute.
My regular morning commute 1.5 hours. Today...25 minutes. Glad to see ppl are taking this serious.— Sandy🇨🇦🇵🇹 (@SandySoares27) March 17, 2020
Toronto rush hour. #Ghosttown. #Crickets
Never seen anything like this.... pic.twitter.com/ZhFCCZW1pt
Quiet at University of Toronto. pic.twitter.com/cLDLaPjHlj— Grant Beasley (@GrantMBeasley) March 14, 2020
"Toronto out here lookin' like Silent Hill right now with the snow falling and no one on the streets," wrote one resident on Twitter Monday night.
"At Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto, there's nobody here. I've never seen this airport so dead before," wrote another on Tuesday afternoon. "There was about 11 people in the plane, including me. It’s giving me spooky vibes."
I feel like I'm live entertainment when walking down the street, for thousands isolated in their condos along the way. "Oh look, there goes another one! Now back to work and Netflix". Ghost town Toronto feelings.— 🌙ohn K⛰ne ☘️ (@John_D_Kane) March 17, 2020
Strange as it may be to see downtown Toronto so empty, many online are praising their fellow citizens for staying indoors, as recommended by Toronto's Medical Officer of Health.
Eerie commute this morning. Walked to work and avoided the TTC. Absolute ghost town. This photo was taken at Spadina & Dundas at 8:39 am. pic.twitter.com/ex1jJWcNBx— Jennifer Evola (@jennevola) March 16, 2020
"If you can stay home, do," said Dr. Eileen de Villa on Monday evening. "If you are a business or an employee, help your staff to stay home. Limit group gatherings. if you need to seek medical attention call ahead.
"I cannot overemphasize how important this is, particularly at this critical time."
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