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A photographer captures life as it happens, but what does one do when most aspects of life are paused indefinitely? Over the past few weeks, City Paper staff photographer Darrow Montgomery ventured out from his Mount Pleasant base to document D.C. as the coronavirus crisis took hold. “I’m trying to make a record of the time,” he says.
For some, work continues—cakes are delivered and yards are tended even as people’s faces are covered. Trees in Rock Creek Park remain bare; new spring leaves have yet to unfurl. Main thoroughfares like 14th Street NW are less crowded than usual, but people still stand dangerously close to one another, compelled to connect as if by a magnet.
Even when people can’t physically connect, reminders of the faith we have in ourselves, one another, or a higher power appear. A church may be closed for services, but ordinary street signs cast a shadow of a cross on a wall. And on a set of brick steps, a simple meditation reminds those who see it to pause for a moment of care and reflection. “Breathe in,” it implores. “Breathe out.” —Caroline Jones