So much of this pandemic is unseen. But despite national lockdowns and social distancing, photographers are documenting the raw tragedy – and triumphs – of the fight against Covid-19
By Jon Jones, head of photography
If you look back at the last eight weeks of lockdown, what do you see? People clapping for the NHS, couples walking in the park, volunteers delivering food to the elderly and vulnerable. We’ve seen images of panic buying in supermarkets, car parks as testing sites, and people flouting the stay-at-home advice. As moments in time they are important, but they are also a reminder that so much of about this deadly virus, which has killed nearly 300,000 people worldwide, is unseen.
Since the outbreak started, I have looked at thousands of images from hundreds of photographers around the world. What struck me is just how much is hidden from view. Of course, the photographers documenting this – the biggest story many of us will cover in our lifetimes – are facing huge challenges, from restrictions on movement, a lack of access, to the ever-present threat to their health. And so it is that biggest global event of our time is partly hidden, hard to interrogate, leaving us struggling to fully understand it.
In some places, all we can see are soldiers patrolling the streets. In others, photographers can only gain access to mass testing stations and huge field hospitals – the flagship projects of panicked government. Elsewhere the images are just, empty. Here, in a two-part essay, we glimpse the reality of life on the new global frontline.
Photographs by: Sascha Schuermann, Johannes Eisele, Apu Gomes, Antonio Masiello, Sebastian Enriquez, Spencer Platt, Jeffrey Basinger, Prakash Mathema, Noel Celis, John Wessels, Piero Cruciatti, Schneyder Mendoza, Christian Hernandez, Lex Van Lieshout, Yasser Al-Zayyat, Yasuyoshi Chiba, Musa Al Shaeri, Jack Taylor, Tolga Akmen, Luis Tato, Arif Ali, David McNew, Narinder Nanu, Patrick Fort, Fadel Senna, Marco Di Lauro, Wagner Meier, Jahi Chikwendiu, Delil Souleiman, Suliman Heji, Patrick T. Fallon, Vladimer Zivojinovic, Alberto Pizzoli, Badru Katumba, Pau Barrena, Paul Faith, Asif Hassan, Luca Sola, Nelson Almeida, Arun Sankar, Sebastien Bozon, Ricardo Oliveira, Abdel Ghani Bashir
Getty Images, AFP, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Newsday
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