The world, as it exists outside right now, is totally, totally different from the world of three months ago.
Some of those changes have been for the better. Pollution is down. I’ve stopped spending money on frivolous things like Ubers and expensive restaurant meals. Handshakes (an annoying ritual that I’ve never been able to master) might a thing of the past.
But people are dying. A global depression is probably on its way. A trip to Target now means giant lines, and dealing with the possibility that it might lead to your painful, gasping death a few weeks down the line.
On the streets, things are weird. Everything feels different and spooky. Things are mostly quiet and empty. My daily walks are spent staring longingly into the stores and restaurants that I used to frequent, wondering if they’ll be able to financially survive the shutdown. Occasionally I’ll start thinking about whether I'll be able to financially survive it, or if my friends and relatives will survive it in general. Some people seem to be caving under the pressure. I’ve seen multiple people yelling at each other about social distancing, and my Citizen app alerts have gone from like, “Car broken into on W 5th St” to “Person armed with sword at Starbucks.”
Here are some things I’ve seen while out exploring the new world on my government-recommended walks around my neighborhood.
This article originally appeared on VICE US.