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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — Yosemite Village is normally a crush of humanity and traffic congestion. On Saturday, it was peaceful like few times before — the only sounds coming from the wind and the few local residents.
A young bobcat ambled by the nearly abandoned administrative buildings, while ravens prattled and danced in the empty parking lots, and coyotes trotted along the valley’s empty roads and walkways.
Tourists aren’t allowed in California’s most popular national park, but if they could visit, they might feel as if they had been transported to another time. Either to a previous era, before millions of people started motoring into the valley every year, or to a possible future one, where the artifacts of civilization remain, with fewer humans in the mix.
On March 20, the national park was closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — leaving the 7.5-mile-long valley to only a skeleton crew of 100 to 200 park service employees and an unknown number of concessionaire workers.
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