Coronavirus 'hug curtain' image named World Press Photo of the Year

Source: The Hill | April 15, 2021 | Mychael Schnell

A photo featuring an 85-year-old Brazilian woman receiving her first hug in five months amid the pandemic from a nurse through a translucent “hug curtain” was awarded the World Press Photo of the Year on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

The image, shot by Danish photographer Mads Nissen, captured the moment Rosa Luzia Lunardi and nurse Adriana Silva da Costa Souza embraced at the Viva Ben care home in Sao Paulo on Aug. 5.

This is the second time one of Nissen’s photographs has been named the World Press Photo of the Year, according to The AP. He was previously awarded the first place accolade in 2015 for an intimate photograph of a gay couple in Russia.

The transparent plastic curtain depicted in the photo, with its folded yellow edges that resemble the wings of a butterfly, is used as protection against the coronavirus, in addition to the mask worn by Lunardi.

“This iconic image of COVID-19 memorializes the most extraordinary moment of our lives, everywhere,” jury member Kevin WY Lee said, according to The AP. “I read vulnerability, loved ones, loss and separation, demise, but, importantly, also survival — all rolled into one graphic image. If you look at the image long enough, you’ll see wings: a symbol of flight and hope.”

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