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Signs of the Time: Business Respond to Coronavirus

The Long Island Bar in Cobble Hill announces its voluntarily closing during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Long Island Bar in Cobble Hill announces its voluntarily closing during the coronavirus outbreak, March 14, 2020.
Photo: Yoav Gonen/THE CITY

With coronavirus concerns sweeping the city, businesses and cultural institutions responded with closings and reductions in service.

Reporters from THE CITY captured signs documenting the virus’ impact on life in New York.

A Whole Foods tries to prevent a run on basic necessities. Jose Martinez/THE CITY

A Manhattan Whole Foods tried to prevent a run on basic necessities, though the empty shelves may tell the story.


Cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art were forced to close due to the coronavirus. Virginia Breen/THE CITY

Bedrock cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, were forced to close after state officials banned gatherings of more than 500 people.

A note on the museum’s website said the Met would undergo a “thorough cleaning” while shuttered for an unspecified amount of time.


An Inwood, Manhattan bodega lets customers know how diligent they are about disinfecting. Claudia Irizarry Aponte/THE CITY

An Inwood bodega let customers know how diligent staffer are about disinfecting.


Broadway theaters scrambled to provide information while the district faced an unprecedented shutdown. Jose Martinez/THE CITY

Broadway theaters scrambled to provide information while the district faced an unprecedented shutdown.


A Harlem urban farm lets community members know they can't provide services while the coronavirus spreads. Eileen Grench/THE CITY

A Harlem urban farm let community members know it couldn’t provide the usual compost collection services.


A Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn bar dramatically limited the amount of customers allowed inside and announced other safety measures. Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

A Bedford-Stuyvesant bar dramatically limited the amount of customers allowed inside and announced other safety measures.


Major Manhattan retailers were forced to close  with no official reopening date due to coronavirus concerns. Virginia Breen/THE CITY

Some major Manhattan retailers closed with no official reopening date.


A Midtown deli implores customers to take safety precautions while picking out food. Virginia Breen/THE CITY

A Midtown deli implored customers to take safety precautions while picking out food.


A sign posted at Canal Street calls for acceptance and vigilance in combatting the coronavirus. Christine Chung/THE CITY

Fellow New Yorkers also urged proactive measures to keep the spirit of the city alive. A sign posted at Canal Street called for acceptance and vigilance in combatting the coronavirus.

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