The coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, satellites in space are revealing a radical shift in human behavior.
Countries including the United States, Italy and China have advised against nonessential travel and many people around the world are either quarantined or self-isolated to reduce the spread of the disease, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. This has led to a drastic reduction in crowds at normally populated areas.
Our new video here showcases a number images from both before and after the virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, spread into a worldwide pandemic. These images show the incredible ways in which our species has adapted our behaviors as a result of COVID-19, as spotted by satellites. The views were taken by Maxar's WorldView Earth-observation satellites over the last few weeks.
First-off, you see the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China pop into existence in the blink of an eye. China built the hospital in just 10 days this January as part of the country's fight against COVID-19. In the video, you can see the hospital swell, with a number of blue hospital structures added onto the initial building.
Next, satellites have captured images of Tokyo Disneyland which, before the pandemic, was full of people and bustling with activity and, after, was absolutely empty.
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The video goes on to show before and after images of Tiananmen Square in China, the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport in Iran, the Shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh in Qom, Iran, Milan Cathedral in Italy, Battery Park in New York City, USA, Bethesda Fountain in NYC and the Salt Lake City International Airport Car Rental Center in Utah, USA.
The striking visuals recorded by Maxar are expected to continue over the next month. This week, "social distancing" and stay-at-home recommendations in the United States were extended to run through at least April 30.
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Chelsea Gohd joined Space.com as an intern in the summer of 2018 and returned as a Staff Writer in 2019. After receiving a B.S. in Public Health, she worked as a science communicator at the American Museum of Natural History. Chelsea has written for publications including Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine, Live Science, All That is Interesting, AMNH Microbe Mondays blog, The Daily Targum and Roaring Earth. When not writing, reading or following the latest space and science discoveries, Chelsea is writing music, singing, playing guitar and performing with her band Foxanne (@foxannemusic). You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd.