I'll be honest. When Governor Inslee's executive order came down, I didn't realize how different my life would be. I work and I go home. That's pretty much my day, and that's how I like it. My family and I typically go out on the weekends and hit up the stores (RIP my wallet), but we haven't for the past two weeks. "Hey," I thought, "you'll be saving some money during all of this." It wasn't until I actually went out and started taking pictures of Kennewick that it all set in. What was once a busy town had gone mostly quiet. My daily commutes hadn't given me any inclination of how deserted everything had become since I saw roughly the same amount of traffic every morning.

I took my family out and took some pictures to share with you to show you how much life has changed for Tri-Citians this week. I hope you enjoy them because I learned a lot by doing this.

Pete Christensen

A once fairly busy parking lot is now laid bare at JC Penney. This was the first picture I took at the mall.

Pete Christensen

This is a different view from the same spot in the parking lot. The only activity here is some construction being done. There are still some restaurants open for take-out and delivery, but that's it.

Pete Christensen

On a normal day, you'd be lucky to find a parking spot this close to Macy's. You'd normally have to park much closer to the big Simon Malls sign. Today, however, you have the pick of the litter.

Pete Christensen

A different view from the same parking lot shows even more emptiness in a typically crowded Columbia Center Mall parking lot.

Pete Christensen

Usually, at this time of year, you'd be looking out for shoppers walking to and from their cars. This is the entrance I took last time I went to the mall. I ended up picking up a graphic novel from Barnes & Noble. As you can see, there's only a couple of cars including security.

Pete

I tried to imagine all of the people walking with bags full of recent purchases walking up and down this storefront sidewalk. I really can't put into words the wave of emotions that I felt. It was peaceful, sure. But it was also very lonely.

Pete Christensen

I heard someone at work say going outside right now was like being in "the Twilight Zone." I think that perfectly describes it.

Pete Christensen

The lights are on but nobody's home at DICK'S Sporting Goods. It's one of several businesses I've seen around town with bars in their doors.

Pete Christensen

I can't believe I'm actually missing busy shopping centers with packed parking lots. I hope to see them once again full of healthy, happy people.

Pete Christensen

One thing that jumped out to me was this series of donuts in the parking lot. In all of the barrenness of the parking lot, for some reason, I laughed when I saw this.

Pete Christensen

I think by the time you made it through the empty parking lot to the locked up storefront door, you would have figured out the mall was closed before you even saw the sign.

I'm glad I was able to go out and appreciate how much has changed for us in Tri-Cities. It really brings home the feeling that millions of others in the world are feeling right now. When countries across the world started shutting down, I didn't really think it would happen to us. Now that it has, I've started to appreciate the smaller things that I've overlooked for many years. For now, I'll enjoy the quiet but I eagerly await a return to "normal" life here in Tri-Cities. Thanks for taking a look at my gallery. I hope you and your family are safe and healthy.

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