(CNN) — Ever tried taking a photo in front of the Trevi fountain in Rome? Up until very recently it was a Herculean feat, requiring patience, timing and guesswork as to where the next spot might open. There were selfie brawls as well as fines and barriers imposed to control the unruly, ill-behaved masses.
Now you could take that photo with no obstructions, not one other human in the frame, no problem. But as Italy is on coronavirus lockdown, you might get fined -- or even arrested.
Many streets, train stations, mass transit systems and restaurants are now eerily empty.
Deserted airports and under-capacity airplanes are the new normal, from Beijing to beyond. Like the virus itself, these uncanny scenes are spreading west to tourist attractions, museums, churches and landmarks. And the few pedestrians and tourists still wandering are usually wearing masks.