A Portrait of Our Pandemic

A photographic Tour of Rochester during the Midst of Our Pandemic

Photo captions by Deborah J. Larsen / Photos by Gerald Larsen

Downtown Rochester with clear skies and empty streets

Because many businesses are closed for the duration of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, Rochester’s Main Street was uncharacteristically deserted at noon on a recent Saturday.

Like many shops, Lytle Pharmacy is closed to walk-in traffic, but continues to serve its customers through pre-arranged curbside pickup.

It has been well over a century since Main Street was this quiet during daytime business hours.

Rochester’s popular restaurants and gathering places are eerily quiet since the shelter-in-place order took effect to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A church parking lot that would normally be packed on Easter weekend sits empty. Most churches have moved their worship services online for the duration of the stay-at-home effort.

A sign in front of Ascension Providence Rochester hospital pays tribute to the health care workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

Although warmer weather and the shelter-in-place order have everyone looking forward to outdoor recreation, playgrounds across the county have been closed to deter close contact and potential contamination of surfaces.

A police line cordons off playground equipment at North Hill Elementary School.

A sign in front of Ascension Providence Rochester hospital has a message for us all.


About Deborah J. Larsen

Deborah J. Larsen recently retired after 34 years as local history librarian at Mount Clemens Public Library. She currently serves as the research chairperson for the Rochester-Avon Historical Society, and writes on a wide range of local history topics.


  1. Sharon Potere says

    Thanks so much, Deborah! You continue to do the greatest articles! Even though we now live 250 miles north of Rochester, we do keep up with what is going on and many times it is through something you have written.

  2. Vickie Kriewall says

    Wow Debbie. You and Jerry have done another deep hitting article. We admire both of you. Thank you for your insightful talents.

  3. We need to open up America, tell Whitmer to pack up and leave our State for good.
    Vote for Big Jim Stevens for clean water …

  4. Yvonne Verschueren says

    Well done!

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