The change to daily life triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is profound.
For frontline healthcare workers, the fallout has been doubly impactful. Caring for and treating patients with COVID-19, while also trying to prevent becoming sick themselves or infecting loved ones.
Words seem inadequate to describe what it feels like to face these challenges every day.
That’s why Dr. Brant Slomovic of the UHN Emergency Department (ED) used his photography skills.
“If you view wearing a mask while shopping for groceries as an inconvenience, perhaps consider wearing a mask and shield for an eight-hour shift,” Dr. Slomovic says. “This new uniform of sorts, that traps heat and mutes all conversation, takes a toll emotionally and physically.
“The feeling is of working with tunnel vision, looking through a blurred lens while experiencing a nagging pressure around your head analogous to being underwater.”
With that muted-blurry-tunnel-vision-underwater feeling in mind, Dr. Slomovic, a published photo-essayist accustomed to projects using high-end film and digital cameras, wrapped his iPhone in a plastic sandwich bag and set out to visually capture what it’s like working in the UHN ED during the pandemic.
The result is a powerful photo essay he calls “The New Normal.”