The pandemic has changed San Francisco, and Margie O’Driscoll set out to document it.
When the pandemic began, I started an Instagram account photographing a changing San Francisco. After looking over thousands of photos, here’s what I observed: Over the last year of quarantine, San Francisco considered most construction an “essential service” so building continued, despite the fact that construction workers were one of the professions most likely to contract COVID-19.
Sequestered in our homes for months on end, we focused on interior space. We knocked down walls, hung new art and repainted the bathroom. We created mini offices in cramped apartments. Or we threw up our hands and moved to a new home, city or state.
Restaurants moved outside to sidewalks proving San Francisco city government can actually respond to planning and zoning issues in just six weeks — if there is a will.
San Franciscans embraced the idea of “home as billboard." Using street facing windows to post political signs is a time-honored tradition here. During the pandemic, this reached new heights: signs appeared thanking essential workers and supporting the BLM movement. We shared our emotions with every passer-by.