Portrait of Egypt in the Time of Corona

Photojournalist Roger Anis has been taking pictures of the changes taking place in and around Cairo for more than a month after the first cases of COVID-19 infection appeared in the country and the state borders were closed. Never before has a megapolis with a population of more than 20 million people, lively both day and night, been like this.
Dry, sweltering hot local wind from southern directions in North-East Africa and the Middle East.
Roger Anis
Photo correspondent of Shorouk Newspaper
Khamsin scurried through the streets of Cairo in the early days of April, saturating the air with an ochre sand. This stinging wind, the promise of spring, was habitually laying waste to the streets. This year, it raged in neighborhoods that were already partially deserted. It was preceded by the insidious and invisible threat of a new coronavirus.

The capital has almost come to a stand still since mid-March, with cafes, restaurants and shops lowering their blinds as the night time curfew approaches. Local residents leaving the house cover their face with a mask. Schools, mosques and churches, as well as places of entertainment and attractions, were closed.
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The Kites of Cairo
Whole families go out on the roofs of their homes, make fancy paper structures and try to cope with the wind. This ritual not only brings together relatives, distracting from everyday problems, but also carries some hidden meaning: flying a kite is another metaphor for freedom, which we miss so much and strive to regain.
How has social distancing affected your daily life (family, leisure time, education, etc.)?
It affected me like it affected everybody else, I haven't seen my family since the pandemic started, because they live in another city and I don't want to risk and travel to them. Of course, the situation is hard for everybody. There are many friends I wanted to see, but I can't risk, even if I'm not afraid and take all precautions.
How are your compatriots adapting to the new conditions in Egypt?
In the beginning some people followed the rules and the new conditions but slowly-slowly people are getting bored and the economic situation is pressuring everybody. So things started to loosen slowly, and I believe it won't stay like this, and people will not really stick to the rules.
How has coronavirus influenced your work?
I was working on a big project about the Nile, just came from Sudan last February and was planning to go to Ugunda to continue, but everything stopped. So far 5 international travels for work and workshops got cancelled.
Statistics | COVID-19 in Egypt
est. May 7, 2020
7 588
People infected
People died
1 815
People recovered