Coronavirus News: The city sleeps -- How has COVID-19 changed our daily lives?

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Museums are shuttered. The opera is silent. The bright lights of Broadway are dark. Big gatherings are banned. Bars are closed, and restaurants are open only for takeout and delivery. Store shelves are bare. The subway has been shunned. Social Distancing is the sign of the times.

The largest city in the United States -- the City that Never Sleeps -- has slowed to a crawl amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The number of cases spikes daily, and much of the city resembles a ghost town. It is unclear how long the pandemic will last, but what is clear is that it has reshaped daily life in America.

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Millions are working from home or are furloughed or unemployed as storefronts shut down, with only essential employees -- and only a percentage of them -- still reporting for work in person.

Schools are closed, leaving parents struggling to work remotely while taking care of cooped-up children.

Hospitals, pharmacies and grocery stores are the only places open for business as usual, but it's hardly business as usual. Many supermarkets have altered their hours to allow more time for restocking, with deliveries arriving daily instead of once or twice a week, and specials times have been set aside for elderly shoppers and those with disabilities.

Still, good luck finding bread or ground beef, all while trying not to get price gouged for hand sanitizer.

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New York City's most esteemed cultural institutions are all closed because of COVID-19, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall. The world famous Met Gala has been postponed, sports leagues have suspended their seasons, and even the Catholic church canceled Masses during the busy Easter season.

Major retailers have closed nationwide and worldwide in response to the pandemic, intended to promote social distancing, the act of decreasing person-to-person contact, in order to slow the spread of the disease. Each infected person spreads to two or three others on average, researchers estimate.

The stock market is in freefall, all while the government promises it will do what it can for corporations, small businesses and individual Americans alike.

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The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

The vast majority of people recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

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