While the global coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed the world, a swimmer from one of the world’s hardest-hit countries has presented a moment of beauty.
Italian swimmer Lorenzo Zazzeri posted an image of a drawing he has created to commemorate the front-line medical workers. Using colored pencils, Zazzeri created an image of a set of weary eyes staring through the all-too-familiar image of a mask and surgical cap that front-line medical professionals must don in an attempt to protect themselves from the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
As globally, images of doctors and nurses with masks removed, showing deep imprints of the lines on their faces after hours-long shifts, have gone global, but Zazzeri instead chose to show his subject in full regalia, with eyes that are clearly wonting for sleep and weary not only for what they’ve seen so far, but what is still to come.
Italy so far has over 105,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, 2nd-most in the world behind only the United States, and 12,428 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, most in the world. The country was the first to be hard-hit by the virus outside of Asia, and stories of doctors having to make ethical decisions about who lives and who dies, driven by overwhelmed hospitals unable to treat all of the patients, have been a rallying cry for quarantines around the world.
Zazzeri, 26, is a self-taught artist. Still an active professional swimmer, he represented Italy at the 2017 European Short Course Championships and 2018 World Short Course Championships. At those World Championships, he finished 14th in both the 50 and 100 meter freestyles.
Zazzeri poignantly dedicated the drawing “to the health workers at the front, armed only with science and altruism.”