Maybe. The New York Times is reporting that for some tattoo aficionados and newbies alike, getting a tattoo commemorating the COVID pandemic is a new trend. These are so-called “pandemic tattoos.” A byproduct of our collective slow-burn health and economic nightmare of the past year and a half.
We’re personally not into tattoos. We don’t have any. We don’t have an interest in getting one. Which is not to say that we don’t appreciate them. Tattoos, the history, aesthetics and the myriad reasons people get them, are fascinating. We even find certain kinds of tattoos on certain people actually very attractive.
But we have the same question the NY Times is asking: “Would you get a pandemic tattoo?” What’s more, is this really a thing? Is this a real trend or just a handful of people the Times found that actually got COVID-themed ink work?
The idea is kind of cool. The COVID pandemic and all the disruption it has caused in billions of peoples’ lives was to varying degrees stressful and worrisome at a minimum, traumatic and tragic at at its worst. The experience of selecting and getting a tattoo can be cathartic and a way to personally, symbolically and literally, commit to the body a record of the pandemic experience.
As the Times notes…
While the pandemic may be a time many want to forget, others are doing the opposite, getting tattoos to commemorate their experiences. Some are marking where they spent the year or a lesson they learned from the turmoil. Some Covid-19 survivors are getting tattoos that remind them they are alive and have strength. Some people are getting tattoos to memorialize those they lost.
Tattoos serve several purposes. But at the core, they acknowledge and communicate something psychologically essential for the person. They can be a big part of a person’s identity.
Many of our friends have tattoos. And many of these friends have lots of tattoos. But we haven’t seen any pandemic tattoos firsthand, in the flesh (uh, no pun intended). Not yet, anyway. Maybe never. But we’ll give it time. We’ll keep our eyes open to spotting one in the wild.
Still, we’re curious and thus the question remains: Would you get one?