During the pandemic, people are getting tattoos of masks, toilet paper and symbols of strength


(NEW YORK) — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world are getting tattoos to commemorate these unprecedented times. 

A recent article by Insider chronicles what tattoos people are getting during this time and why. 

A medical professional named Lynnette Carey traveled from her home state of Texas to New York City in March to help the overwhelmed Brooklyn VA Medical Center. To honor the experience, she got a tattoo of a mask-wearing nurse aiding a limping Statue of Liberty, which frames her efforts “in a positive way, where I can look back and be proud of what I did to help,” Carey states. 

Meanwhile, Bubba Nicholson of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada got a tattoo of a 16th century plague mask and a set of praying hands holding a bottle of hand sanitizer and rosary beads, accompanied by the words “what doesn’t kill us makes us stranger.”

“I’m always gonna remember this period of time, where I’ve seen so much disintegrate around me, and from a personal, mental standpoint, found myself so much stronger,” Nicholson shares of the inspiration behind the imagery.

Mask-covered faces, a dagger piercing through a cell infected with the virus, and even toilet paper, are some of the other images people have been getting inked with during the pandemic. 

According to Insider, Assistant Professor of Counseling, School Psychology and Special Education at Edinboro University Everett Painter, who’s researched the connection between trauma and tattoos, states that the ink can often provide a sense of “comfort” in a traumatic situation. 

“It brings people some comfort in a way, just to be reminded ‘I’ve dealt with this, I’ve overcome it, and it doesn’t control me anymore.’ It doesn’t define who I am,'” he says.

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