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Mar 23, 2020

A Photo Of Atlanta's Deserted Jackson Street Bridge During The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Gone Viral

"I thought it would likely be the only time you’d ever see a real life scenario like this."

Even if you've never watched The Walking Dead before, you've likely seen this poster:

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The iconic image, taken at Jackson Street Bridge in Atlanta, was used as a promotional billboard for the series in its first season.

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In the show, the scene depicted the bleakness of Georgia after a mysterious virus infected most of the population and turned the city streets into a ghost town.

Well, besides the walking dead.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a TWD fan recreated the popular poster and, honestly, the similarities between the photos are extremely eerie.

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On Friday, Afshin Shirinzadeh snapped this pic of the Jackson St. Bridge after receiving a request from his friend, photographer Lori Kristen Messenger:

Afshin Shirinzadeh / Via Facebook: afshin.shirinzadeh

A day before, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order, effective at midnight, "limiting restaurants to take out service, closing bars, gyms, etc."

The photo was later uploaded — side-by-side with the original TWD poster — on Facebook and on Twitter, quickly racking up over 8,300 likes.

So I asked my old college mate, that lives in Atlanta, to try and reproduce this iconic promo photo from s1. With there being no Atlanta traffic due to the pandemic, he went to Jackson St Bridge and took this for me today. Creepy. Credit: Lori Kristen. #TWD #TheWalkingDead

"That is creepy!... I've never seen the connector looking like that. Atlanta traffic is like LA traffic normally," one person tweeted.

@WalkingTrojen @TWalkingDWorld @AMCTalkingDead @WalkingDead_AMC @JDMorgan @chandlerriggs @mcbridemelissa @DanaiGurira That is creepy! As a former Atlantan who worked downtown, I’ve never seen the connector looking like that. Atlanta traffic is like LA traffic normally.

"I always [loved] TWD but only because I believed I'd never have to live it," another wrote.

@WalkingTrojen @TWalkingDWorld @AMCTalkingDead @WalkingDead_AMC @JDMorgan @chandlerriggs @mcbridemelissa @DanaiGurira That is cool. I always love TWD but only because I believed I’d never have to live it. *sigh*

Others felt the recreated shot was enough to give them "goosebumps":

@WalkingTrojen @TWalkingDWorld @AMCTalkingDead @WalkingDead_AMC @JDMorgan @chandlerriggs @mcbridemelissa @DanaiGurira Amazing and gives me goosebumps.

"This started because I saw an article on Facebook about the streets and highways of Atlanta being very slow and “quiet” due to the coronavirus pandemic," Lori told BuzzFeed.

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

"There were photos of various Atlanta locations and everything was empty or almost to a crawl," she said.

"So I had the idea to message my old college roommate and rugby coach, who currently resides in Atlanta. I sent him a picture of what [the show's] promo poster looked like. I asked him if he could try to get this photo for me. If he could try to recreate that poster image. Of course without Rick and [the] horse and the piled up cars, etc."

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"I thought it would likely be the only time you’d ever see a real life scenario like this," she admitted.

So how did Afshin get the perfect shot of the bridge? "I used my iPhone 6s Plus," he told BuzzFeed. "I work nearby," he added.

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Talk about all things aligning.

Lori also posted an edited version of Afshin's photo — which makes the image more haunting. She says she's seen it "floating around in memes" more so than the original:

Lori Kristen Messenger / Via Instagram: @art_and_soul_photography_lmkc

The two friends said they're happy that the recreated image went viral and could "make others smile" during "this dark time." They're both also looking forward to getting back to a sense of normalcy.

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Same, guys, same.

Until then, let's all continue to do our part and practice social distancing so we can flatten the curve and save lives in the real world! Stay safe out there, y'all.