2021 Photo Contest, Portraits, 2nd Prize

COVID-19 First Responder


Ivan Macias

19 May, 2020

A doctor stands at the end of her shift, the marks left by a protective mask and goggles clearly visible on her face, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Healthcare workers worldwide were at the forefront of the battle against a new coronavirus, COVID-19, which had originated in China and rapidly engulfed the world in a pandemic. Of 37 countries surveyed by Forbes in November 2020, Mexico reported 78,200 COVID infections among healthcare workers. When adjusted for population size, this was the highest rate in the world. The first COVID-19 cases in Mexico were confirmed in late February. In March, President López Obrador had played down the severity of the threat from the virus, allowing large public gatherings and preparations for the tourist season to continue. Once cases started to climb, in late March, a lockdown went into effect, but by April the president had declared the disease under control. On 13 May, less than 24 hours after the country had reported its deadliest day during the pandemic, with 353 deaths recorded, Obrador announced an easing of lockdown measures. Mexico had also come under pressure from the United States to reopen its economy to ensure continental supply chains. Exhausted healthcare workers became increasingly critical of policies that did not enforce stricter anti-COVID regulations.

About the photographer

Ivan Macias

Iván Macías is a photographer based in Mexico City. He is passionate about the image’s ability to generate awareness and bring reflection. Macías began photographing ...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
54 mm

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