Photo of COVID-19 victim in Indonesia sparks fascination—and denial
Coronavirus victim wrapped in plastic shows what many didn’t want the populace to see.
Photojournalist Joshua Irwandi shadowed hospital workers in Indonesia, taking a striking image of a plastic-wrapped body of a COVID-19 victim while making sure not to reveal distinguishing characteristics, or even gender.
The image, taken for Nat Geo as part of a National Geographic Society grant, struck a chord in the nation of 270 million people. Indonesia had been slow to fight the global pandemic, with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo touting an unproven herbal remedy in March. Some of the reactions to Irwandi’s image, which humanized the suffering from the virus, have been hostile.
Irwandi’s photograph has been displayed on television news and shared by the spokesperson for the nation’s coronavirus response team. The image was widely screen-grabbed and