The Elephant


The Mask of Corona

By Vincent Muchangi

The Mask of Corona

The coronavirus spread rapidly across the globe. One person at a time, it has passed through millions, reaching every corner of the earth. And it has not only infected people, taken innocent lives, but it has reshaped society in lasting ways. From how we travel and where we live, to the level of security and surveillance we’re accustomed to, to how we work and interact and even to the language we use.

But if there is a symbol that completely captures the zeitgeist and the magnitude of this change, it is the surgical facemask. When history looks back on the pandemic of 2020, those white, blue or mulitcoloured objects that hide the mouth and nose will be what we see.

Below, a collection of images from staff photojournalist Vincent Muchangi captures people doing their best to keep others and themselves safe during these corona times.

These images will serve to chronicle this moment in history for years to come.

A second hand clothes hawker in Thika town in a wrestling style mask. His love for wrestling inspired him to get that mask.

A second hand clothes hawker in Thika town in a wrestling style mask. His love for wrestling inspired him to get that mask. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

Caleb Kamau, a mask seller poses for a picture donned in a facemask

Caleb Kamau, a mask seller poses for a picture donned in a facemask. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

Oyugi Opiyo an upcoming musician and street poet poses for a photo outside Aqua World Studio in Thika town.

Oyugi Opiyo an upcoming musician and street poet poses for a photo outside Aqua World Studio in Thika town. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

Due to high demand of facemasks necessitated by strick government regulations, many street vendors have taken to selling surgical masks to capitalize on the increasing demand for the facemasks. Above a street vendor selling his wares in Thika Town

Due to high demand of facemasks necessitated by strict government regulations, many street vendors have taken to selling surgical masks to capitalise on the increasing demand for the facemasks. Above a street vendor selling his wares in Thika Town. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

Francis Waweru aka Fraja, an artisan and an electrician photographed as he was carrying his craft in Thika town.

Francis Waweru aka Fraja, an artisan and an electrician photographed as he was carrying his craft in Thika town. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

A mask vendor sorting out his masks before selling them to nearby customers.

A mask vendor sorting out his masks before selling them to nearby customers. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

Businesses in Nairobi have to adhere to government regulations of social distancing, sanitizing and wearing of masks as they carry out their operations. At Hive pastries in Thika town, a customer in a facemask waits in line as she was purchasing pastry.

Businesses in Nairobi have to adhere to government regulations of social distancing, sanitizing and wearing of masks as they carry out their operations. At Hive pastries in Thika town, a customer in a facemask waits in line as she was purchasing pastry. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

A photo of a used facemask.

A photo of a used facemask. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

With strict government regulations, social institutions have too been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. William, a young lad donned in a facemask styled like the Kenyan flag on his way to church in Ngoingwa Estate, Thika.

With strict government regulations, social institutions have too been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. William, a young lad donned in a facemask styled like the Kenyan flag on his way to church in Ngoingwa Estate, Thika. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

 

Public awareness campaigns to sensitize the public on the COVID-19 measures have been conducted by many stakeholders.

Public awareness campaigns to sensitize the public on the COVID-19 measures have been conducted by many stakeholders. Credit: Vincent Muchangi

Written by Joe Kobuthi


Published by the good folks at The Elephant.

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