Praised for its innovative storytelling, a massive faith-based museum in Washington, D.C. has undergone safety measures of biblical proportions to reopen for visitors.
A two-mile landscaped public park that defines the nation’s capital city, the National Mall usually welcomes 30 million visitors every year.
On any other summer, after a light August rain, thousands of people emerge from under trees to resume volleyball and soccer games. Families would rush to their next stop among thirteen Smithsonian museums, which line the Mall on either side.
Yet, on early Thursday afternoon, fewer than 10 people could be seen outside the usually bustling National Air and Space Museum. It remains closed, like nearly all the Smithsonian museums.
“This is nothing!” said Nasa Tecle, owner of a food truck parked nearby the Smithsonian flagship. “It’s a small fraction of the people we saw last summer. And tourists are how we work.”
She has operated her food truck for six years in D.C. This summer, most vendors remain parked at home due to lack of demand.
“I want to work,” said Tecle. “But, yesterday, I made $37. That’s not enough to even pay for gas in this truck.”
She continued: “I tried to do DoorDash delivery for awhile, but that is hard when you have three kids.”