Wales based practitioner and photographer Glenn Dene has in his own words been ‘given the honour of photographing it all when it goes down in Theatre and Intensive Care’ throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
Covid-19 has created one of the most harrowing and unsettling times the nation has endured in many years, Glenn wants to share his images in the hope to show the public a glimpse of what health professionals, victims and families are going through on a day to day basis.
‘I would love a chance for the public to see these photos and how hard my friends and colleagues are working to save lives. There’s been tears, breakdowns and laughs and I hope to have captured it all so far’. These images will become a stark reminder of these strange times we are living in for future generations.
‘It felt like the videos you see of what happens just before a tsunami hits; when the tide goes out, the sea disappears and everything goes eerily quiet. The public were on lockdown and although we’d had a trickle of patients enter the hospital, with elective operating ceased and most people ‘scared’ to attend, the hospital entered a rare phase of quiet and calm.
‘We wondered if the wave would ever hit us. We didn’t want it to as we’d seen the pictures from Italy of how badly their hospitals had been smashed, but equally we were poised, trained and ready to give our best if it hit, when it hit. And it hit.’
This is how Dr Ami Jones ITU consultant described the onset of COVID-19 at Nevill Hall General Hospital in Abergavenny in March 2020.
Glenn’s photographs show how the remarkable team came together to serve their community, from professional challenges to personal fears, all is revealed as the team at Nevill Hall donned their masks to battle the killer virus. Having been given such free access, Glenn has captured a unique time in our history and has sensitively portrayed an extraordinary crisis and the raw human emotion beneath the mask.
Glenn Dene is an Operating Department Practitioner and photographed the whole process from lockdown.
Behind the Mask
Available June 14th
Words: Jasper Haze