In recent weeks, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the closures of cultural institutions, workplaces, universities, and schools, as well as the closing of borders, and as a result of more and more people staying at home to help curb the spread of the virus, Budapest streets have become deserted and have started to resemble scenes from post-apocalyptic movies. We have collected some videos and pictures of the empty streets of the capital.
Botond Nahimi explored the empty city in a post-apocalyptic video. The three-minute video, enhanced with a gloomy filter and well-chosen background music, results in a suffocating, scary image.
The video was first shared by the 444.hu news portal. In response to a question from the portal, video-maker Namihi revealed that he had only filmed outside on one occasion, from 6am to 11am, as he traveled through the Széll Kálmán and Kossuth Square, the Basilica and Deák Square, visited the Grand Boulevard and the National Museum, the area of the Bálna (Whale) and Fővám Square. Namihi also crossed the usually busy Liberty Bridge, had a look at the otherwise bustling Váci Street, then reached the completely empty Heroes’ Square, and closed the tour at Buda Castle. He said he didn’t have to wait for the spaces to clear out as there were only a few people on the streets.
Another filmmaker, Márton Bognár also went to explore the deserted streets of Budapest on a rainy-snowy day and made a beautiful video featuring the city’s landmarks – from the Basilica and the Chain Bridge, to Buda Castle – which are usually bustling with tourists, but due to the coronavirus, they have emptied out.
The main message of the video is clear. Although both the snowy weather and the long-awaited arrival of spring can be tempting, it is of utmost importance what Cecília Müller, Hungary’s Chief Medical Officer also emphasized on Friday: that the public should avoid close contact and stay home in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Only a couple of people are outside to exercise, run errands, or walk their dogs, and of course those who are working for the comfort and safety of the citizens. The staff of the Municipal Street Maintenance Corporation for example, make sure that the streets and public spaces, such as the underpasses and public transport stops are properly disinfected.
Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI