Photo of the Week!*
F 5.6; 1/250; 135mm
Shot at the end of the “D” concourse at Doha’s Hamad International Airport.
*But why stop there? This can be the “Photo of the Year!” too.
This week’s photo was taken on July 11, 2019 — so nearly 18 months elapsed between its creation and its publication — and in hindsight, it’s remarkable how it foreshadowed what awaited the travel industry and the world at large in 2020. With its deserted public spaces, this sleepy corner of Doha’s airport reflects the new normal that the events of the past year forced upon us. Moreover, nearly-identical scenes easily could’ve been captured in any other city (at airports or elsewhere) in 2020. For a year that was supposed to usher in this century’s “Roaring Twenties,” the decade instead began with human tragedy, economic devastation, and profound loss.
The world by and large is still shuttered for safety as we move in to 2021, but there are reasons to be hopeful. Yes, things continue to be eerily quiet as people socially distance at home, but consider the lone passenger on the moving walkway: she’s literally heading to the light at the end of the “tunnel” and she’s nearly to it! Maybe she’s a metaphor for all of us. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says as much when he explains how close we are to the end of the pandemic. Indeed, there’ll soon be a vaccine ready for mass distribution, so stay home until you get yours, wear a mask when you’re out, and practice good hygiene; this period will be memory in due time.