The Pandemic & My Hometown: Sarah Barnes

On March 29, 2020, I explored my community to see how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting Cary, North Carolina. I ventured to some of the schools I attended growing up, as well as several places I would usually frequent while home for the summer.
I discovered that although society was taking a hard hit, the sun was still out and the sky was still blue. While we are temporarily unable to live our regular lives, we should take this time as an opportunity to reflect and be thankful for our community’s efforts to keep each other safe.
Town of Cary Fire Station No. 8 and Police District Office is still in full operation during the stay-at-home order, March 29, 2020 in Cary, North Carolina. SARAH BARNES

Blue skies over local middle school, a usually cheery scene is shadowed by global pandemic closing down schools all over the country. Mills Park Middle School in Cary, North Carolina on March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Mills Park Middle School, bus entrance, March 29, 2020 in Cary, North Carolina, untouched by students for several weeks during the state-wide closures of schools. SARAH BARNES
In Cary, North Carolina, Mills Park Elementary School has a colorful yet abandoned playground on March 29, 2020. Wake County public schools have been closed for several weeks now. SARAH BARNES
Mills Park Elementary School, Cary, North Carolina, empty playground and basketball court on March 29, 2020. Schools have been closed for several weeks now. SARAH BARNES
The parking lot was empty at a local gym, the UNC Wellness Center (Northwest Cary location), on March 29, 2020, in Cary, North Carolina, just three days after Wake County issued a stay-at-home order effectively closing gyms and fitness clubs, among other recreational facilities. SARAH BARNES
Cary, North Carolina gym, the UNC Wellness Center (Northwest Cary location) was temporarily closed on March 15, 2020, and was expected to reopen March 28, 2020. Doors were still closed March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
In Cary, North Carolina, Panther Creek High School has an empty parking lot on March 29, 2020. An outdated spirit rock that has not been repainted since Wake County Public Schools closed March 14, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Temporarily abandoned activity busses parked outside Panther Creek High School’s athletic stadium, located in Cary, North Carolina, on March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Pool in Cary Park, a neighborhood in Cary, North Carolina, is vacant on March 29, 2020. Usually set to open in May, is currently closed indefinitely.  SARAH BARNES
Neighborhood pool located in Cary Park, Cary, North Carolina, has a donation toy bin available for families to trade sanitized toys to keep their children safe and entertained during the county-wide stay-at-home order. Photographed on March 29, 2020. Sarah BARNES
Empty playground in Cary, North Carolina on March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Signs at Cary, North Carolina intersection addressing the now canceled registration for the neighborhood swim team, and a local food drive, on March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Usually packed parking lot in a Cary, North Carolina shopping center on March 29, 2020 is uncharacteristically empty for a Sunday. SARAH BARNES
Local math learning center in Cary, North Carolina, Mathnasium, has had to close up shop due to the stay-at-home order and move their services online, March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Cary, North Carolina restaurants still open during the stay-at-home order, including this Subway, on March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Subway located in Cary, North Carolina is operating at modified hours during the Wake County stay-at-home order, March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Practically empty parking lot in a Cary, North Carolina shopping center on March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Luxury Nail & Spa, Cary, North Carolina nail salon, closed due the stay-at-home order. On March 29, 2020 the sign states they plan to reopen April 30, 2020. SARAH BARNES
Abandoned shopping carts in Cary, North Carolina shopping center on March 29, 2020. SARAH BARNES
On March 29, 2020 Cary, North Carolina ice cream shop, Andia’s. It closed its doors until further notice due to the county-wide stay-at-home order closing non-essential businesses on March 27, 2020. SARAH BARNES