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If a tree fell in the Rambla, and no one was there to hear it, would it make a sound? That old philosophical question about what reality is like when humans aren't there to experience it can now be posed in the most unlikely of places, densely-populated Barcelona and the Catalonia of which it is part. Never-before seen images. A city all locked down and apparently abandoned, due to the coronavirus. Silence. Virtually no traffic. People indoors. For Barcelona, as for so many other cities in Europe and around the world.

An aerial unit of the Mossos d'Esquadra police has shared a video of lockdown seen from above. The main access motorways to the Catalan capital, safe for a snail to crawl across; the Sagrada Familia, making its grand architectural statement without the presence of people. ...Or perhaps, like the falling tree that goes unheard, that's not even possible.

More long weeks of confinement at home lie ahead and they will keep the streets of Barcelona empty, while in rural parts of Catalonia (like the shots of Terrassa's La Mola at the end of the video) nature seems happy to move into the gap left by humans.

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