Framed: Photos of life in Seattle during COVID-19

The city is adapting as we enter the second month of Washington’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order.

A man wearing a face mask walks down a grocery store aisle with a shopping basket in his hand

Adam Dotson, who lives in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, visits his local Safeway store to pick up some groceries and beer on March 16, 2020. “I’m doing OK these days,” Dotson says. “My work hasn’t been affected by all of this yet, but I’m a little nervous and have to be extra careful not to bring coronavirus into my home if I were to get it.” As the pandemic took hold across Seattle and the rest of the United States in the weeks after Dotson's visit to the grocery store, he was laid off from his construction job. "I have been able to spend a ton of time at home getting things done and being way more present than was ever possible before," Dotson said on April 29. "In many ways, it has beat going to work ... but I should be getting back to my job any day now." (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

Life looks and feels very different since March 23, when a "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order was put into place across Washington state.  

During his public address to announce statewide recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Jay Inslee said, “The less time we spend in public, the more lives we will save.” The governor urged his constituents to "flatten the curve" in hopes that hospitals would not be overwhelmed with sick patients. And with that we were all thrown into an unprecedented shared experience.

Every facet of life has changed, and no one has been left untouched. Empty roadways and businesses offer a daily reminder of the risks the coronavirus presents. How we work, live, play and interact have all shifted.

Social isolation has kept some families apart, halting family dinners, preventing grandparents from meeting grandchildren, canceling plans for graduation and holiday celebrations. Many parents who still have jobs and can work from home have been thrust into the unexpected role of being a teacher — all while trying their best to remain productive. Rising unemployment — fed by at least 600,000 new jobless claims across the state — signals a growing population of people struggling to make ends meet.  

Out of an abundance of caution, many businesses have been closed out, some unsure when or whether they will open their doors again. The sight of boarded-up windows is not uncommon, but with them have come bursts of colorful murals with messages to persevere. 

Essential workers — from hospital staff and postal workers to grocery store cashiers and bus drivers — are feeling overworked and risking their health to get the rest of society what is needed to make it to the next day.

Families are starting gardens, neighbors are sharing resources and singing together, individuals and companies are rallying to make masks for health care workers, FaceTime and Zoom have become an integral way to communicate for some and atop the Space Needle a flag waves with a simple message, “We got this Seattle.”

All the while, the visual journalists of Crosscut have been documenting this new normal in Seattle.

Editor's note: For the best experience, please view this slideshow using the full-screen option.

health worker on street

A Seattle Fire Department firefighter speaks with a patient on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle during the evening hours of March 18, 2020. On March 15, King County fire chiefs announced that all personnel across the county would be provided with and wearing enhanced personal protective equipment to keep themselves and residents safe during the pandemic; days later, on March 19, the city of Seattle announced a first-of-its-kind testing site “for first responders, conducted by first responders.” (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

A Seattle Fire Department firefighter speaks with a patient on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle during the evening hours of March 18, 2020. On March 15, King County fire chiefs announced that all personnel across the county would be provided with and wearing enhanced personal protective equipment to keep themselves and residents safe during the pandemic; days later, on March 19, the city of Seattle announced a first-of-its-kind testing site “for first responders, conducted by first responders.” (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

empty light rail station

Seattle's Pioneer Square light rail station, absent of commuters during what would normally be an evening rush hour in downtown Seattle, March 30, 2020. After Gov. Jay Inslee's “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order went into place, transit ridership reduced drastically, causing Sound Transit and King County Metro to reduce their operations. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

Seattle's Pioneer Square light rail station, absent of commuters during what would normally be an evening rush hour in downtown Seattle, March 30, 2020. After Gov. Jay Inslee's “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order went into place, transit ridership reduced drastically, causing Sound Transit and King County Metro to reduce their operations. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

cornavirus murals

Masked pedestrians walk past Ezra Dickinson's “State of Emergency” mural at the corner of East Pine Street and 12th Avenue in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, April 5, 2020. "The mural was initially meant to speak to the homelessness crisis in our city, but since all this has happened, this work has taken on a whole other message," says Dickinson. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

Masked pedestrians walk past Ezra Dickinson's “State of Emergency” mural at the corner of East Pine Street and 12th Avenue in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, April 5, 2020. "The mural was initially meant to speak to the homelessness crisis in our city, but since all this has happened, this work has taken on a whole other message," says Dickinson. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

Sam Grey performs for a birthday

Sam Grey, dressed as Elsa from the movie Frozen, sings with children over video on April 6, 2020. Grey is a local theater maker and drag performer and has been adjusting to being without work and in quarantine by offering families video visits from Elsa. This day’s visit is for a child’s birthday. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Sam Grey, dressed as Elsa from the movie Frozen, sings with children over video on April 6, 2020. Grey is a local theater maker and drag performer and has been adjusting to being without work and in quarantine by offering families video visits from Elsa. This day’s visit is for a child’s birthday. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

A musician performs in the streets of Ravenna

Neighbors on a Ravenna street come out of their homes for a singalong on April 5, 2020. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Neighbors on a Ravenna street come out of their homes for a singalong on April 5, 2020. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

empty church

The interior of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Issaquah on April 6, 2020. In response to COVID-19, the church has begun offering services online through Facebook Live. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

The interior of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Issaquah on April 6, 2020. In response to COVID-19, the church has begun offering services online through Facebook Live. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

boarding up windows on a businesses

Jake Whitson, a tattooer at Liberty Tattoo, puts up boards outside the shop on March 23, 2020. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Jake Whitson, a tattooer at Liberty Tattoo, puts up boards outside the shop on March 23, 2020. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

mural painting

Artists have painted murals on shuttered businesses that line Ballard Avenue, shown on April 12, 2020. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

Artists have painted murals on shuttered businesses that line Ballard Avenue, shown on April 12, 2020. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

empty diner

Guests at the Steelhead Diner were met with locked doors on March 10, 2020. In an email to employees on March 7, the restaurant, near Pike Place Market, announced it would become one of the first in the city to close down, citing a falloff in business resulting from fears of the coronavirus. Other restaurants soon followed, as the virus affected healthy people. Workers were laid off and serving hours were reduced. (Shaminder Dulai/Crosscut)

Guests at the Steelhead Diner were met with locked doors on March 10, 2020. In an email to employees on March 7, the restaurant, near Pike Place Market, announced it would become one of the first in the city to close down, citing a falloff in business resulting from fears of the coronavirus. Other restaurants soon followed, as the virus affected healthy people. Workers were laid off and serving hours were reduced. (Shaminder Dulai/Crosscut)

Diners mill about Pepperdock Restaurant

People walk into Pepperdock Restaurant near Seattle’s Alki Beach on March 20, 2020. New social distancing measures have closed down bars and restaurants in Washington state, with the exception of takeout and delivery services. Local officials have urged people to either stay home or stay 6 feet apart when going out. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

People walk into Pepperdock Restaurant near Seattle’s Alki Beach on March 20, 2020. New social distancing measures have closed down bars and restaurants in Washington state, with the exception of takeout and delivery services. Local officials have urged people to either stay home or stay 6 feet apart when going out. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

A customer looks for fabric in store to make masks

Candace Frank, a costume maker by training, started fabricating face masks in response to a shortage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She shops for fabric at Joann Fabric and Crafts store in Renton on March 20, 2020. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Candace Frank, a costume maker by training, started fabricating face masks in response to a shortage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She shops for fabric at Joann Fabric and Crafts store in Renton on March 20, 2020. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

empty downtown streets

A lone pedestrian crosses an empty downtown Seattle street amid the COVID-19 pandemic, March 18, 2020. During the pandemic’s early days in King County, many people went about their daily lives and commuting to work in the usual ways. The scenes of shuttered business and ghost town-like streets were only visions from other countries. Soon those scenes became a realization for most everyone in larger cities across the country. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

A lone pedestrian crosses an empty downtown Seattle street amid the COVID-19 pandemic, March 18, 2020. During the pandemic’s early days in King County, many people went about their daily lives and commuting to work in the usual ways. The scenes of shuttered business and ghost town-like streets were only visions from other countries. Soon those scenes became a realization for most everyone in larger cities across the country. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

A crowded scene on Alki Beach

A group of people plays Frisbee at Seattle’s Alki Beach on March 20, 2020. In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, local officials have urged people to either stay home or stay 6 feet apart when going out. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

A group of people plays Frisbee at Seattle’s Alki Beach on March 20, 2020. In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, local officials have urged people to either stay home or stay 6 feet apart when going out. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

A nearly empty Gas Works Park

Local parks like Gas Works Park are much less crowded since the city of Seattle closed the parking lots to them. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Local parks like Gas Works Park are much less crowded since the city of Seattle closed the parking lots to them. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Two people work out in a parking lot

Josh Celvi lifts weights with Alaina Abbott outside Adams Elementary in Seattle on March 31, 2020. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

Josh Celvi lifts weights with Alaina Abbott outside Adams Elementary in Seattle on March 31, 2020. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

Protestors against state shelter-in-place orders

A man carrying his American flag takes a break on a bench outside the Washington state Capitol Building in Olympia during a protest, April 19, 2020, that, according to the Washington State Patrol, drew about 2,500 people opposed to the state's “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Despite the protests, the latest information from the governor's office indicates that the order will be extended beyond May 4. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

A man carrying his American flag takes a break on a bench outside the Washington state Capitol Building in Olympia during a protest, April 19, 2020, that, according to the Washington State Patrol, drew about 2,500 people opposed to the state's “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Despite the protests, the latest information from the governor's office indicates that the order will be extended beyond May 4. (Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut)

Sacha Davis hugs her daughter

Sacha Davis hugs her daughter at a Georgetown playfield in Seattle on April 1, 2020. Davis and her wife run a Facebook page for Seattle home schoolers, which has seen an uptick in interest since the COVID-19 pandemic began. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

Sacha Davis hugs her daughter at a Georgetown playfield in Seattle on April 1, 2020. Davis and her wife run a Facebook page for Seattle home schoolers, which has seen an uptick in interest since the COVID-19 pandemic began. (Jen Dev/Crosscut)

Hugo Flanagan, 8, rides his bike

Hugo Flanagan, 8, rides his bike on a homemade dirt bike track in his front yard on April 6, 2020. Both of Hugo's parents are engineers, and they turned the building project into a teaching tool during home schooling after Seattle schools closed because of COVID-19. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Hugo Flanagan, 8, rides his bike on a homemade dirt bike track in his front yard on April 6, 2020. Both of Hugo's parents are engineers, and they turned the building project into a teaching tool during home schooling after Seattle schools closed because of COVID-19. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Planting a garden

Dr. Meade Krosby and her daughter, Juniper, 8, look through their garden together in their Fremont backyard on March 23, 2020. The family is planting vegetables in order to remain as self-sufficient as they can in response to COVID-19. “I want to make people aware that if you have a sunny window or patio, you can grow stuff, too,” Krosby says. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Dr. Meade Krosby and her daughter, Juniper, 8, look through their garden together in their Fremont backyard on March 23, 2020. The family is planting vegetables in order to remain as self-sufficient as they can in response to COVID-19. “I want to make people aware that if you have a sunny window or patio, you can grow stuff, too,” Krosby says. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Adaline Delahunty, 4, and her brother Rowan, 2, both dressed in princess costumes, play make-believe while taking their regular walk with their mother at Woodland Park on April 7, 2020. "We’re finding pockets of nature within our neighborhood that are secluded, so the kids can run and play outdoors and find joy and a little otherworldly energy," Emily Delahunty says of her children. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Adaline Delahunty, 4, and her brother Rowan, 2, both dressed in princess costumes, play make-believe while taking their regular walk with their mother at Woodland Park on April 7, 2020. "We’re finding pockets of nature within our neighborhood that are secluded, so the kids can run and play outdoors and find joy and a little otherworldly energy," Emily Delahunty says of her children. (Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Seattle skyline with building displaying a heart

Hearts are illuminated in downtown Seattle on April 9, 2020, in Seattle. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

Hearts are illuminated in downtown Seattle on April 9, 2020, in Seattle. (Sarah Hoffman/Crosscut)

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