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Here’s what it was like for the first night of Georgia’s shelter-in-place order

It was quiet. So quiet, you could hear the shoes of a runner hitting the sidewalk instead of the normal honks, music, and laughs of nightlife.

ATLANTA — In this piece, 11Alive's Hope Ford talks about what she saw on the night of April 3, 2020 as Georgians stayed home. 

Around 8 p.m., two hours after Georgia's shelter-in-place order went into effect, I, 11Alive's Hope Ford drove around, to see what metro Atlanta looked like.

As you might imagine, it was not what you normally see on a Friday night. 

Driving around Sandy Springs there are a couple cars, mainly around the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta location in that area. But, other than that, it looked abandoned.

Of course, we know it's not. Folks are just indoors, abiding by the executive order. 

Hoping on 400 South towards Buckhead was interesting. For the first time since moving here, I could actually go the speed limit, instead of slowing down every few seconds for some weekend traffic. 

Off Piedmont Road in Buckhead, places like Mama's Cocina Latina was packed- outside. Cars lined the side of the road, as people patiently waited to pick up food. Note to self; I should give them a try one day. 

Other restaurants and fast food places had lines as well. And for the most part, that was the only congestion in the city. 

RELATED: These states have issued stay-at-home orders, here's what that means

People were out walking, but very few. Most were walking dogs or carrying grocery and/or to go order bags from restaurants. 

The drive from Buckhead near Monroe Drive to 10th Street in Midtown took eight minutes. Something I can say I've never done on a Friday night in Atlanta. Trying to drive to Midtown for a story at almost 9 p.m., requires patience on most days.

RELATED: Gov. Kemp authorizes sheriffs to close businesses to enforce stay-at-home order

And just like the other parts of the city I visited, Midtown was bare, save for a few runners, a few people who are homeless, and a couple walking a dog. It was quiet. So quiet, you could hear the shoes of a runner hitting the sidewalk when you rolled down the window; instead of the normal honks, music, and laughs of nightlife.

It was beautifully eerie to see the city, with all it's bright lights, but minus it's bright people. Eerie, because the city felt bigger, lonelier, without all it's residents going about their lives outside; and because of the unseen predator that is COVID-19 forced them all indoors. Beautiful because it meant people were listening. They were taking the order seriously, and they didn't hesitate to adapt to the way life is now, at least until April 13.


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