Throughout the pandemic I have been very lucky to work from home and teach online. I tested positive for Covid -19 in September 2020. I decided to make several portraits of NHS workers as a thank you for their contribution to our healthcare system during the pandemic.
Last week local artist and good friend Karin Hepburn delivered a very special painting to our house. It was a portrait of my husband, David, and me in our work scrubs and PPE painted as a momento of our time working as doctors in the NHS during the first Covid lockdown in 2020.
David and I are both surgeons working in local hospitals and last spring our working lives changed dramatically as covid hit the country. Although neither of us was required to look after patients sick with the virus, our jobs changed significantly- we needed to wear cumbersome PPE masks and visors at all times, our patients were tested for Covid before coming to see us, and only those with the most serious conditions were being treated. This obviously caused most stress for our patients, but also made working under these conditions challenging!
Karin asked to paint our picture as part of a challenge to UK based artists to capture this strange time, and we were delighted to be chosen. Due to restrictions in meeting up, the photograph was taken by one of our daughters and sent over to Karin, who crafted an amazing painting, capturing both the uncertainty and camaraderie that working under these circumstances created for many of the staff in the NHS.
We were blown away by Karin’s generosity, and now have a unique lasting reminder of a time in our careers that neither of us will ever forget.