This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Remember when coronavirus was an excuse to make funny memes about anxiety, face masks and working from home? Well, the reality of life during a pandemic is starting to set in now, and things aren't looking great.
Over 1,500 people have tested positive for the virus in the UK. On Monday, the UK government issued official advice to avoid all non-essential travel and contact with others. Going to crowded places like pubs, bars and clubs is out of the question, and everybody should try to work from home if they can. And obviously, you can forget about seeing your nan if she's in a care home.
With the West End about to shut down and cinemas, restaurants and bars closing all over London, the city is starting to look very different. We don't know yet if the government advice will turn into a mandated shutdown – as it has in Italy. But one thing's for sure – our lives have already changed beyond recognition.
Chris Bethell has spent the last few days capturing London pre-isolation advice, as fear began to set in and the city began to empty out in the first wave of the pandemic. Who knows? They might be the last photos you see of London looking relatively normal for a while.