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28th May 2020

In_pictures Coronavirus: Mask photos show ’emotions and tiredness’ of Ipswich NHS workers

In_pictures Coronavirus: Mask photos show ’emotions and tiredness’ of Ipswich NHS workers

In_pictures

Image copyright
Colin Gray

An NHS worker has been taking photos of hospital staff in their face masks to show “the emotions and tiredness of the effects of looking after patients” with coronavirus.

Colin Gray, 41, photographed his colleagues on Lavenham Ward at Ipswich Hospital.

“I wanted to give the people I work alongside something to look back on in years to come,” the clinical support technician said.

He said: “I had comments of ‘I look totally broken, do I really look like that?’ and ‘I have a thousand yard stare, I look like I’ve been to war’.”

Image copyright
Colin Gray

Image copyright
Colin Gray

The pictures, titled “the eyes behind the mask”, have received praise on social media.

Mr Gray said: “I am absolutely amazed with all the lovely comments and positive feedback.”

He said after the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust posted the images online his phone “just kept going off”.

“I thought something was wrong with it, I had so many messages and tags with people sharing it. I am absolutely shocked at how many people have seen it. It’s truly amazing that it has been seen by thousands of people.”

Image copyright
Colin Gray

Image copyright
Colin Gray

Mr Gray spent 20 years as an Army medic and said one of his “biggest regrets” was that he did not take more pictures “especially during the difficult times on operations, or the occasions where history was literally unfolding before my eyes”.

He said: “So when the emotions and tiredness of the effects of looking after patients with Covid-19 started to show in the faces of my colleagues, I wanted to capture it.”

Image copyright
Colin Gray

Image copyright
Colin Gray

He said he “started off by photographing two or three people a night with the proviso that if they didn’t like it I would delete it”.

But, he said that none of the staff he photographed have asked for them to be deleted, although the staff are not named in the published photos.

Mr Gray said his colleagues “felt a little dubious at first and unsure if it was the right thing to do under the circumstances, until they saw the images”.

Image copyright
Colin Gray

Image copyright
Colin Gray

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