LONDON — It’s early evening on a Friday, a time that signals the end of the workweek in many parts of the world and the middle of the weekend in most others.
Instead of getting ready to go out, having friends over or enjoying a much-needed rest at home, billions of people around the world are now shut in and sitting tight through the coronavirus pandemic.
Associated Press photographers captured images from different parts of Europe and Africa at 6 p.m. local time on Friday, and found that even the most quintessentially public spaces were as still as a Sunday morning.
Waterloo Station, London’s busiest train station and a popular rendezvous point, was missing its usual frantic flow of crisscrossing commuters and visitors to the British capital.
The Via Nazionale, usually one of the busiest streets in Rome’s historic city center, remains buttoned up and closed for business after almost eight weeks.
Under normal circumstances, the hearts of most cities pulse with energy at that hour on that day of the week. Yet since the coronavirus has swept the planet, days and hours have blended together, compressing into a long wait for life to get back to normal.
In Paris, the stopped clock hands on an art sculpture titled “L’Heure de Tous” (“Everyone’s Time”) take on a different meaning in the lonely looking Gare Saint-Lazare train station.
Meanwhile, a young man practices his trumpet playing in the Ukrainian town of Stari Petrivtsi as life goes on indoors, out of public view.