Photographer Mohammad Rezai snaps pics of volunteers helping fight coronavirus

May 31, 2020 - 19:0

TEHRAN – Photographer Mohammad Rezai has made his best efforts to record the COVID-19 pandemic at the very beginning by covering the volunteer groups that stepped in to bury the dead bodies and help medical workers on the front line of the campaign against the novel virus.

“I simply took my camera in my hands and went out into the streets in the Iranian northern province of Mazandaran, which went through difficult days, to record the initial experiences and show reactions of the people during the pandemic,” Rezai said.

“At first I tried to find those who were in charge of burying the dead bodies in the hospitals to photograph their trying moments, but I was not given permission. So I located the volunteer groups who did the actual burials and took photos of them while they were at work,” he added.

Rezai said that he tested positive while taking photos, but his encounter with Covid-19 disease was a mild one and he recovered a few days later and resumed his activity. 

“This was the first time we saw people stepping outside wearing face masks. People were afraid to take a taxi or even stand in lines to buy bread. I mostly tried to reflect the uncertain atmosphere and the suspense dominating the city,” he added.

“I used my Instagram to stay in touch with my friends and began to take photos in different districts of the city of Sari and divided our duties. Each one of us began to disinfect the handles of the doors and the door phones in the streets during day and night, however, people became worried upon hearing about the increasing number of dead,” he explained.

“People were also concerned about how their loved ones were being buried, since some were even buried at night and I felt I should reflect those moments. There were many clergymen who voluntarily helped bury the dead bodies and I took some photos to show that relatives could attend the funeral ceremonies if they observed social distancing,” he said.

He called the difficult days of coronavirus a crisis and added, “However, it was different since I was worried for my family members and they were also afraid I would become a carrier of the virus. As a result, I was forced to rent a place for about a month to distance myself from them and spent my time there during the recovery process.”

He said that he believes the media can help overcome the problem and manage the crisis and help control the pandemic. 

Photo: Volunteers carry the coffin of a  deceased coronavirus victim for burial in the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran. (Mohammad Rezai) 


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