A never-before-seen virus first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan has infected people around the world with a pneumonia-like illness. The pandemic has caused sickness, death, alarm and social shutdowns worldwide. Here are some scenes from around the globe since early 2020, starting with the most recent, as scientists, governments and citizens struggle to grapple with and contain the illness.
In a scene that's become all too familiar around the world, a man in Barcelona crosses an empty street on March 20 wearing a face mask as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Residents of the city are facing confinement and being asked to practice social distancing.
Published:Caption:CNET News staffPhoto:Paco Freire/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
May 4: Protest in Venice
People gather near the Rialto Bridge in Venice on May 4 in a demonstration seeking the loosening of restrictions on commercial activities, including on restaurants and bars, that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Published:Caption:CNET News staffPhoto:Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
April 23: Serving free lunch
Volunteers for World Central Kitchen hand out meals at the Bronx Draft House on April 23. Bronx Draft House is serving free daily lunch to first responders as well as assisting World Central Kitchen to distribute free meals to people in vulnerable situations in the community.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (center) walks out of the chamber of the US House of Representatives after debate April 23 on a $484 billion relief package. The bill would provide funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, along with other small-business loans, emergency relief for hospitals and money for coronavirus testing.
A man waits in an empty baggage claim area at a nearly deserted Los Angeles International Airport. Since COVID-19 has forced most travelers to stay home, passenger air travel has plummeted more than 90 percent at LAX as airlines slash flights and consolidate operations.
Published:Caption:CNET News staffPhoto:Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
April 15: Anti-quarantine protest in Michigan
Protesters participate in a "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" rally at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing. The group is upset with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's decision to expand the state's stay-at-home order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
On Easter, Pastor Jerel Hagerman led a "Drive-in Crusade" church service in the parking lot of the Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Yucca Valley, California. Parishioners stayed in their cars rather than gathering in the church building to minimize the risk of infection with the coronavirus.
In New York, Columbia University's Baker Field Athletic Complex has been transformed into a field hospital in anticipation of a surge in coronavirus patients in the hard-hit city. Pictured here on April 11 is Dr. Laureen Hill, chief operating officer of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Wearing his official robe, New York City Criminal Court Judge Paul McDonnell works remotely from his Brooklyn apartment rather than his Manhattan courtroom. McDonnell still works a full day, but he's seen a drop in criminal arrests as COVID-19 slows all New York activity.
As people have stocked up for long stays at home, toilet paper has been in short supply. An ice cream parlor in Rastatt, Germany, has used that as inspiration for ice cream cakes in the shape of toilet paper rolls. The cakes must be ordered by phone and picked up through a window, for safe social distancing. They weigh 2 kilograms (or nearly 5 pounds) each, and can serve eight to 10 people.
Published:Caption:CNET News staffPhoto:Uli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images
April 6: Priest conducting mass
In Innsbruck, Austria, a Roman Catholic priest conducts mass in an empty church on April 6. The pews, though, hold hundreds of photos of parishioners, and the priest records the masses on video, then uploads them by evening for viewing by his congregation via the internet.
Outside Dr. Dave's Automotive in West Asheville, North Carolina in the US, volunteers from disaster relief organization Grassroots Aid Partnership offer up free food and soap to those in need. They handed out the freebies for four days, three hours a day.
Published:Caption:CNET News staffPhoto:Sadak Mohamed/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
April 2: Former cruise ship passenger treated
A patient is transported from an ambulance at the Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The patient is one of a group of people taken from the Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships after they arrived at Port Everglades following 19 days at sea. South American ports denied the ships' entry due to the coronavirus outbreak, and reports indicated two of four people who died aboard the Zaandam had tested positive for COVID-19.
The USNS Comfort, a US Navy hospital ship, docks at Pier 90 on the Hudson River in New York on March 30 to provide 1,000 beds for non-COVID-19 patients in support of the city's overtaxed medical infrastructure.
Published:Caption:CNET News staffPhoto:Erika Santelices SANTELICES/AFP via Getty Images)
March 27: Blood drive in Las Vegas
American Red Cross team leader Eva Klappa transports boxes for donated blood during a blood drive at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 27. The speedway plans to hold four blood drives to help alleviate a supply shortage stemming from a lack of donated blood and facilities large enough to collect it while also observing social distancing guidelines. Many blood drives across the United States have been canceled as a result of the spread of the virus.
Medical volunteers in Berlin dispose of the protective gear used while taking blood and throat mucus samples to test visitors for COVID-19. Dr. Ulrike Lipke said she set up the tent next to her medical practice in Berlin as a way to offer testing while avoiding possible coronavirus infection inside. Germany is seeking to radically increase its coronavirus testing capacity to up to 200,000 tests a day by the end of April in an aim to allow people to return to work and get the German economy back into action.
A sign above lighted candles reads "Protect us from the coronavirus" at Vienna's Plague Column, erected after the Great Plague epidemic in 1679. A recession in Austria seems likely as economic activity slows and many businesses are temporarily closed. Schools, daycare centers and universities remain shuttered.
US Army National Guard members gather at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces plans to convert the facility into a field hospital to help deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Pianist Denis Matsuev, double bassist Andrei Ivanov and percussion player Alexander Zinger perform from the empty Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow during a live broadcast. With museums, theaters, symphonies and opera houses closed due to the coronavirus, many artists have been livestreaming performances for people in lockdown to enjoy at home.
Residents of New Rochelle, New York, receive bags of free food at a community center. US National Guard troops have been assisting local staff in distributing food in the city, which has been a hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic.
Kids in Portland, Maine, settle in for a day of home schooling. A growing list of states across the US, including Ohio, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia, have closed schools in an attempt to contain the coronavirus. Major cities including New York City and Los Angeles have done the same.
An emergency public safety text message alerts residents of Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area to a shelter-in-place order going into effect until April 7. San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the measure March 16 at a press conference with leaders of the surrounding six counties. The order requires residents to stay at home except for essential needs. Most businesses will close, though "necessary government functions and essential stores" will still be open. On March 30, Bay Area counties extended their stay-at-home order until at least May 1.
Travelers arrive at the international terminal of Chicago's O'Hare Airport on March 15. Chaos gripped it and other major US airports as Americans returning from European countries hit by the coronavirus overwhelmed authorities attempting to process the surge. Passengers complained of lines that lasted for hours, crowded and unsanitary conditions and general disarray in the system for screening people for symptoms of the virus.
At a bus station in Krakow, Poland, an electronic sign urges travelers to alert their health care provider if they've been exposed to the coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the disease it causes.
Shoppers across the US have been clearing store shelves of cleaning supplies and groceries, as here at a Giant Supermarket in Dunkirk, Maryland. People are preparing for long stays at home as offices shift to remote working and schools shut down.
On March 12, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down around 2,350 points, or 10 percent, suffering its worst session since 1987 as emergency measures by central banks failed to calm fears of a recession arising from the coronavirus outbreak.
This is a view of the empty stands at the Are ski resort in northern Sweden. Like many cultural and sporting events around the world, the Alpine skiing World Cup finals this weekend have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. On March 11, Sweden's Public Health Agency asked the government to temporarily ban events with more than 500 people.
Medical officers in Salerno, Italy, check bus passengers on March 8. After Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte decided to prolong school closures until April 3 and attempt to lock down 16 million people in the north in an attempt to curb the virus' spread, many people traveled to southern Italy to reach relatives. Ultimately, the whole country went on lockdown.
Mobile World Congress, the biggest event of the year for the mobile phone industry, was scheduled to take place the week of Feb. 24. But with less than two weeks to go before the show, as more and more companies pulled out because of coronavirus worries, MWC officials canceled the event.
A card with a portrait of Dr. Li Wenliang is surrounded by flowers at Li's hospital in Wuhan on Feb. 7. The 34-year-old Chinese doctor is considered a whistleblower for speaking out about the rising cases of pneumonia in an online chat room during the early days of the outbreak. He passed away Feb. 6 as a result of the virus.
An Indonesian health official checks the temperature of a passenger upon his arrival at the Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Blang Bintang on Jan. 27. By that date, an effective quarantine was in place in China, with all flights in and out of Wuhan grounded and a ban on Chinese tour groups domestically and abroad.
Wary of the coronavirus, people in Hong Kong wear surgical masks in public. On Jan. 25, Hong Kong declared a citywide emergency, its highest warning level, canceling all official Chinese New Year celebrations and extending school breaks.
A worker in protective gear in Seoul, South Korea, sprays disinfectant in a train amid rising public concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, which medical experts confirmed can be passed from human to human.
A notice at Japan's Narita airport on Jan. 24 shows a canceled flight to Wuhan, China. Japan is a popular travel destination for Chinese tourists during the Lunar New Year holiday, but on Jan. 25 China said it'd clamp down on travel for some of its citizens heading abroad, including suspending tour groups and temporarily halting the sale of flight and hotel packages.
Virologist Sandro Halbe looks at cell culture dishes in a lab at the Institute of Virology at the Philipps University of Marburg in Germany on Jan. 24. Virologists at the university are involved in the development of a vaccine to combat the lung pathogen.