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Business Unusual on the Front Lines

The following “Business Unusual” account is part of our new initiative, Collecting in Quarantine. With current mandates for all non-essential businesses to close, business is anything but usual in Maryland. In the Business Unusual series, MdHS is asking business employees, owners, customers, passers-by and neighborhood residents to visually share their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thursday, April 9, 2020 – On this day, James Trudeau from Baltimore shared the photos below along with the following dispatch:

As a freelance photographer and a healthcare worker fighting on the front lines, I felt it was necessary to capture some of the emptiness in the wonderful city of Baltimore by interviewing various individuals and asking them how this has affected their everyday life.

Man on bench
Photo by James Trudeau

One day, I circled around a block to talk to a man. He was an older gentleman at a street corner sitting on a bicycle. He was wearing a nice leather jacket, hat, and a mask. When I approached him, I told him what I was doing, and asked if I could take a photo for my project. He said, “sure, why not.” I asked the man how COVID-19 was impacting him. He said he had to ride on his bicycle to get to the convenience store, and to pick up his prescriptions.

Man wearing mask
Photo by James Trudeau

He wore a mask, sitting in his wheelchair on the corner of Monument and North Patterson Park. After getting his consent to photograph him, I asked how the Coronavirus epidemic has affected his everyday life. “[I’m] tired of watching the same thing on TV, not being able to watch sports or do anything but sit around and wait for this to end,” he replied. Rudy has been out of work for the last 20 years of his life and expressed that he has now had time to sit and reflect on his life.

You can find more of James’ photography on Instagram at @photographybyjamestrudeau or on Facebook:

Please note: The views, information, and opinions expressed and shared on the underbelly through the Collecting in Quarantine project do not necessarily represent those of the Maryland Historical Society. Our staff does not verify for accuracy the information contained within these submissions. We also do not edit the content beyond minor modifications for formatting or to remove personally identifying information, if applicable. The primary purpose of this series, with the permission of contributors, is to share and collect the experiences of Marylanders living through quarantine at this moment in time.

To learn more about the Collecting in Quarantine project and how to share a story and/or photos of your own, click here.