In mid-March of 2020, all of Washington, DC’s entertainment complexes were ordered closed by Mayor Muriel Bowser. A fear of infectious virus nCoV-2019 (aka novel coronavirus) and spreading CoVid-19 disease spread across America after it became know that the virus had left mainland China.
Below is a collection of photos depicting the devastating effect on nightlife in the downtown area, particularly in the LGBT community’s favorite gathering spots. All bars are closed for business until further notice. Mayor Bowser has stated that her current intention is to keep them closed until April 27, more than a month away. Many workers and entertainers have been laid-off immediately, and economic concerns are running high and can be felt across nearly every region of the country. It is a very sobering time of uncertainty. And the ghostly emptiness and silence of the city streets at night, when they would normally be full of raucous party-goers, only serves to amplify the strange and unprecedented nature of the pandemic
After Italian hospitals became overwhelmed in one short week, most states and many cities closed down virtually all businesses and large gatherings. At first it was 1,000 or more people, then 250, and then down to 50 and finally 10 or less. Nightclubs and concert halls and theaters were the first to close because of people being in close contact, but after the Saturday before Saint Patrick’s Day made it painfully obvious that bars were going to be a vector of spread among young people, they were ordered shuttered, too. Restaurants were allowed to stay open for take-out or curb-side pick-up only. In Maryland, on March 23, Governor Hogan ordered all non-essential businesses to close after 5pm. Virginia had not followed such strict restrictions, but Governor Northam soon followed. Mayor Bowser and Hogan have said they are not ordering a total “stay at home” type of lockdown — not yet. But it is very close. The number of cases in America is now at 44,000 and in DC the number of known cases is at 120, and includes a wide array of individuals: priests, first responders, drivers, and Capitol Hill politicians.