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caption: Ballet dancers in Shanghai rehearse while wearing masks on March 2. A virus first identified in December has altered daily life and public spaces around the globe. 
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Ballet dancers in Shanghai rehearse while wearing masks on March 2. A virus first identified in December has altered daily life and public spaces around the globe.
Credit: Getty Images

PHOTOS: Public Life Is Surreal In A Pandemic

You may wake up, look out the window and be struck by how things seem pretty normal.

Spring is coming, trees are flowering, birds are chirping.

And if you go to the kitchen to make breakfast and see that someone in your household left dirty dishes in the sink, you'd be peeved.

Yet in March of 2020, these touch points of daily life are in sharp contrast with the overwhelming sense that our world is dramatically different. A walk down supermarket aisles may make you feel as if you've entered into an apocalyptic movie. You can see the anxiety in the eyes of the other shoppers. No apples? No chicken? No toilet paper? And where's the hand sanitizer?

It's all because of a virus first identified in December that has now swept the globe.

Masks are everyday wear (even as scientists repeatedly note that they offer no protection to the average person on the street). No one wants to touch anything for fear of becoming infected — the strap in a bus, the handle of a door, the hand of a friend. Yet people still try to keep calm and keep up their spirits — only with added layers of precautions.

Here are images of our strange, new life in the uncertain age of coronavirus. [Copyright 2020 NPR]