COVID-19, One Year Later: How the virus shut down and forever altered New York in less than three months


On Jan. 21, 2020, New York City’s attention was on things that had nothing to do with their personal health.

In the news, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was on trial for sexually abusing women. Yankee fans were celebrating Derek Jeter’s election to the Hall of Fame. The presidential race was hitting high gear, and President Trump was facing his first impeachment trial for abuse of power.

Offices from MetroTech to Midtown (and beyond) teemed with workers typing on keyboards, printing copies, chatting with colleagues, and performing the usual tasks and rituals of a workday. Across the city, people filled stores and food courts at malls; crammed themselves onto subway trains and buses; dined at restaurants; drank at bars; laughed, cried and cheered at Broadway and movie theaters; packed Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center to see their favorite teams play; and gathered at households for the many parties, dinners and other festivities among family and friends with little care about distance or intimacy.