A love letter to Liverpool in lockdown
I may be a Parisian, but for me, Liverpool is the ultimate city of love. On any given weekend you’ll spot Beatles fans queuing outside the Cavern in homage to rock and roll’s beloved; newlyweds kissing outside St George’s Hall; greetings and goodbyes at Lime Street Station. All you need is love, love, love.
Taken on a socially distanced walk through the city, these photos stand in stark contrast to the Liverpool we know and love. All manner of celebrations which bring so much excitement to the city have been cancelled: baby showers, birthday celebrations, weddings. Where large crowds once congregated around buskers and travelling musicians, Church Street stands empty. Roads are devoid of cars, and no one walks down the street hand in hand. Those out for their daily exercise don face masks, as if the air around us threatens to suffocate them. The fear is palpable.
It’s easy to wonder whether this is the new normal. When the virus threatens to turn us against each other, it’s comforting to spot the more subtle displays of affection. Street cleaners keep the city looking spotless, ready for our return. Signs express gratitude to the health service we often take for granted. Others, meanwhile, deliver essential groceries to the vulnerable. Amidst chaos and heartbreak, Liverpool’s true spirit shines through the darkness.
For me, it has been a blessing to isolate with loved ones. It has been a blessing to access technology which allows me to communicate with those who are alone. It has been a blessing to know key workers are working tirelessly, risking their lives so ours can keep semblance of normality. When it seems like the world has been turned upside down, I hope these images drive home what each and every person brings to this city by staying out of sight.
May it never look this way again. Get in touch!