GRAHAM MARTIN


Living With COVID

One year on after news of the pandemic was first reported in Ireland and Level 5 restrictions continue to remain in place, I take a look back over the events as I personally witnessed and recorded them.

January, 2020

20/01/21. Bonn Airport, Cologne, Germany.

This would be my last flight for 13 months at the time of writing this.

31/01/21. Lunar New Year festivities, Parnell Street, Dublin's unofficial 'Chinatown' district.

Yang Zhang, one of the Festival organisers advised attendees to the New Year celebrations to "take precautions such as hand sanitisation and to cover their mouths while coughing or sneezing" but assuaged fears by stating that "there had not been any travellers recently arriving from China" and that "Chinese people in Ireland are from the North or Fujian province in the South East. The city of Wujan is in the Central region."

February, 2020

On the 29th of February Ireland recorded it's first official case of COVID-19.

March, 2020

12/03/2020. Election poster depicting Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

"Good morning, I need to speak to you about Coronavirus and CoVid-19..."

The day after Ireland recorded it's first death due to COVID-19, Varadkar gave a televised address from Washington DC where he announced that all schools, colleges and childcare facilities will close until the end of the month and that indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 should be cancelled.

12/03/2020. Tesco, Dundrum 

Shoppers begin panic buying groceries and stockpiling certain items such as toilet paper and hand sanitiser. 

March 14. Ireland records it's second death due to COVID-19.

25/03/2020. Business closed by order of the government as Ireland's first official lockdown goes into effect.

I photographed, through their front windows, popular cafe's, bars and fast food restaurants located in Dublin's busiest centre's and thoroughfares during typical evening rush hour when they would under normal circumstances be bustling.

25/03/2020. Grafton Street on the day of Dublin's first lock-down.

April, 2020

As Ireland experienced one of the hottest April's on record, those who's place of work or study closed under government guidelines took to parks for outdoor activities and sports.

May, 2020

A poster advertising handmade cotton masks with MP2.5 filter in a variety of colours and designs. Dublin

Various Instagram accounts demonstrating the inevitable social media response to the pandemic.

25/05/20. Protesters in-front of the G.P.O. on Dublin's O'Connell Street. Conspiracy therorists have linked the spread of COVID-19 to the installation of 5G masts.

A woman sits and prays by a grotto in Rialto, a suburb of Dublin.

June, 2020

06/06/2020. Protestors gather in front of the U.S. Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin, to stand in global solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

The death of George Floyd, BLM movement and wave of violent clashes between riot police and protestors that swept across America from May 25th over the following months offered a brief respite in the media from the pandemic and reminded us that there were other things happening in the world, although these and subsequent protests which occurred in what was a tumultuous year would forever stand out in history due to now normalised sight of face masks and the fact that the very act of standing shoulder to shoulder in group manifestation was in breach of COVID health restrictions in most parts of the world.

An outdoor bingo game organised for residents of flats and social housing units throughout the city.

28/06/2020. 'Fora Bolsonaro' protest, Dublin 

Protestors gather to demonstrate against Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro who's handling of the pandemic has been widely criticised internationally. One placard reads 'Brasil + 55MIL Mortos = Bolsonaro Genocido' (Brazil + 55 thousand dead = Bolsonaro Genoicde)

July, 2020

With a travel ban to some destinations in place and air travel in general restricted the government incentivised holidaying at home and the media were quick to highlight the benefits of the 'staycation'.

Just off Eyre Square, one of Galway Cities busiest commercial and touristic centres.

Galway City. Rental properties, pubs and restaurants in various stages of temporary closure or preparation for re-opening post lock-down.

Galway City. British tourists wearing complimenting novelty face masks.

Galway. A mural depicting a masked face reminds passers by to 'Shop Local, Stop The Virus' in order to encourage restricted movements.

The Ferry from Galway to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands.

August, 2020

On August 10th it became mandatory to wear face coverings inside shops and shopping centres. Prior to this it was just an advisory.

Tesco Metro, Parnell Street, Dublin

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A discarded face mask on the street, a common site since the pandemic broke. 

On August 14th, Greenpeace.org published an article stating "According to estimates by Greenpeace Taiwan, during the apex of the pandemic, from early February to mid May, Taiwan produced and used roughly 1.3 billion surgical masks." "Furthermore, according to existing rules and regulations regarding the disposal of surgical face masks, used face masks are “unrecyclable” due to the fact that they may be contaminated and could potentially lead to indirect infection and viral transmission if they enter the recycle system."

O'Connell Street, Dublin

Anti-Mask / Anti-Lockdown Protest, Dublin

Parnell Street, Dublin

Seapoint, Dublin

September, 2020

Anti-Mask / Anti-Lockdown Protest, Dublin

October, 2020

08/10/2020

18/10/2020 As Halloween approaches, households inevitably modify their spooky decorations to adopt the darkly fitting theme of the year.

November, 2020

06/11/2020 'Takeaway Pints'

Capel Street, Dublin. A vintage furniture store displays stocks of sanitiser spray in its front window.

December, 2020

An easing of regulations was announced to be introduced in phases for the run up to Christmas.

A 'Dining Bubble' in front of The Tram Cafe

One attempt at a solution to the issue of winter weather conditions on mandatory outdoor dining regulations.

Christmas Shoppers

January, 2021

06/01/21 Detail of a large mural hanging in Dublin's Italian Quarter depicting a pastiche of da Vinci's'The Last Supper'  by artist John Byrne (2004). The mural has recently been updated by an unknown individual to reflect the current state of affairs.

February, 2021

Signs of COVID, Dublin

A selection of Polaroid's displaying the various warning signs, notices, sticker campaigns, stencils, murals and graffiti related with or responding to the pandemic.

28/02/2021. Anti-Lockdown protestors took to Dublin's Grafton Street where violent clashes ensued after protestors fired flares at Gardai resulting in the injuries of three members of the force. Twenty-three arrests were made seven of which resulted in offence charges.

28/02/2021. A number of Gardai in front of Trinity College post clashes with anti-lockdown protestors that afternoon.

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