‘It was like a scary movie.’ Coronavirus has forced Iran to take a hard pause

A father’s memorial, a building-wide singalong, a phone call with a stranger. A photographer documents the strange, suspended state of life in the country.

Exactly a year after the author's father, Behrooz, died, she and her sister went to lay flowers on his grave. They had planned a large memorial ceremony with guests and food, but had to cancel it as the coronavirus outbreak spread through Iran. The cemetery, normally full of people in the time around the Iranian New Year, felt eerie and abandoned. "I tried to think of my father, but there were so many distractions," Newsha Tavakolian writes.
Photograph by Newsha Tavakolian, National Geographic

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