Photo Essay: Quiet COVID Nights

ThreeSixty students participated in a special Virtual News Team to creatively cover how they are impacted by the pandemic. This piece is part of ThreeSIxty’s COVID-19 Collection.

COVID Quiet Nights 4
With many people working from home, once busy streets now see very little traffic. (ThreeSixty Journalism/Evan Odegard)

COVID-19 has changed every community it has touched.

My neighborhood in St. Paul has experienced the closure of businesses and public spaces that so many communities across the United States and the world have also gone through. I decided to photograph some of these changes in my community, including closed parks, empty streets, and a local church opening for socially-distanced prayer.

These institutions and public areas, which used to be some of the most important community spaces for me and others in my neighborhood, are now in a state I never would have predicted. The series of photographs below show just how much my community has been impacted by the pandemic, but also how some are creating solutions to an unprecedented problem.

While taking these photographs in April, I noticed the emptiness of my community but also an unspoken unity between people, whether they were biking down the center of empty streets, praying in a silent chapel, or walking down a row of closed businesses.

This story helped me learn more about how my community was dealing with an enormous problem it had not seen coming, leaving a deep personal impact. When this is over and my community returns to normal life, I look forward to finding these photographs and remembering how, in the face of a global crisis, my community found solidarity.

COVID Quiet Nights - Odegard 1
A local church remains open for adoration. Worshipers must remain six feet apart and sanitize their prayer space with wipes. (ThreeSixty Journalism/Evan Odegard)
COVID quiet nights 2
A neighborhood church lights candles to pray for an end to the pandemic. (ThreeSixty Journalism/Evan Odegard)
Quiet COVID Nights 3
City authorities have locked down many community spaces, such as these tennis courts, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (ThreeSixty Journalism/Evan Odegard)
Quiet COVID Nights 4
Cones and signs mark the closure of a local playground due to COVID-19. (ThreeSixty Journalism/Evan Odegard)
Quiet COVID Nights 5
Many neighborhood businesses, such as these on the usually busy St. Clair Avenue, now lie closed and empty. (ThreeSixty Journalism/ThreeSixty)