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Atlanta at sundown: scenes from an empty city confronting a global pandemic

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As Thursday evening rolled over into a pleasantly brisk spring night, a day after Fulton County residents had been ordered to stay home or risk facing $1,000 fines or jail, the blocks around Centennial Olympic Park weren’t just quiet for an urban environment—they were small-town quiet. Country-quiet, even. Totally, bizarrely, temporarily silent.

It couldn’t have been more evident that what a few weeks ago seemed an obscure threat on the other side of the world had brought a major American city, like so many others, to a virtual standstill.