The global impact of COVID-19

Date:30 March 2020 Author: Kyro Mitchell Tags:

Images taken of the Earth before and after the COVID-19 outbreak reveal just how much society has been affected by the virus.

The images seen below come to us courtesy of the Maxar’s WorldView satellites and clearly depict how once heavily populated areas have been turned into nothing more than desolate ghost towns.

The first comparison are satellite images taken of the same Los Angeles interchange just one month apart. You can see that in the first image, taken on 28 January 2020, a large amount of motorists are still using the highway. The same can’t be said for the second image though, as you can count the amount of cars seen on the road on one hand.

LA Highway interchange- 28 Jan 2020. Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies

LA Highway interchange- 22 March 2020. Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies


The next comparison is of another popular tourist destination,The Santa Monica Pier, in California. These two images were taken just 11 days apart, and the difference is clear. If you pay attention to the parking lot located to the left of the pier, you’ll notice that on 11 March 2020 it was still packed with visitors, however, less than two weeks later the entire pier has been abandoned.

The Santa Monica Pier, 11 March. Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies


The Santa Monica Pier, 22 March. Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies


The Maxar’s WorldView satellites weren’t tasked with only taking pictures of once populated areas though. It has also revealed how quickly make-shift hospitals and COVID-19 testing areas have been setup across the world.

The images below show just shows us what the landscape looked like before and after the Huoshenshan Hospital’s facility Wu Han, China was constructed.

The site of Huoshenshan Hospital’s pop-up facility before construction began. Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies


Huoshenshan Hospital’s pop-up facility in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 21, 2020. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies)


Along with the construction of new hospitals, the satellites also captured close up images of a coronavirus testing facility in Germany on what was once the Octoberfest grounds. The first image is a zoomed out angle of the testing facility as a whole. The image below that is an up close picture of the facility where you can see a long line of cars waiting to get tested.

A drive-through coronavirus testing area is set up at the Oktoberfest in Munich, on March 19, 2020. Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies.


Coronavirus testing facility in Munich. Image credit: Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies.


While it might seem eerie to see once populated areas turned into ghost towns, it’s a clear indication that a majority of the world are doing their part to lessen the spread of the coronavirus by staying at home and practicing social distancing.

Feature image: Maxar’s WorldView satellites



Latest Issue :

July-August 2021