The weekend of May 8, 2020 I traveled on assignment to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland to continue documenting some of the most populated cities emptied by COVID-19 stay at home order. Eerie feeling in downtown Pittsburgh standing alone in the streets looking at the empty Steeler’s and Pirate’s Stadiums. As I stood at the top of the city taking photos, a fellow walked up to me with a Steeler’s mask on. As he removed the mask he asked if he could pray for me and proceeded to ask my name. I told him as he introduced himself as Tunch. He then started to pray for my safety and health during these uneasy times. After he walked away I realized who he was, Tunch Ilkin, Sports Broadcaster, former Steeler’s player and legend of the great city. I believe the Universe aligned us in the city alone that day.
When arriving to Baltimore a similar feeling came over me as I approached the empty Baltimore Inner Harbor, Oriole’s and Raven’s stadiums. As I traveled I noticed a great fear in people’s eyes. Everyone wore masks even in their cars, some wearing gloves and signs demanding masks to enter buildings. Customer service registers separated by a flimsy makeshift plexiglass that seemed almost pointless. I can honestly say after traveling the cities and seeing what was and was not open I am not sure what an “essential business” is at this point. I could not help but wonder if this is the new/future normal. When this is all over we will share stories of a time we will never ever forget.