Douglas Despres

Katherine In Covid
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Nationality: American
Biography: Douglas Despres is an documentary and portrait photographer (b. 1981), based out of San Francisco Bay. His stories primarily focus on social and human rights issues in the United States. Editorially, he works with non profits & NGO's,... read on

Perhaps within the chaotic imagery of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, we haven't seen as many stories of the in between, the everyday flats and fears that drip and drag us along. Katherine Park is one such character, as a singer, musician, actor and teacher living and working in Alameda, located in San Francisco's East Bay. She has a respiratory history of bronchitis and pneumonia, elevating her early on to the highest tiers of vulnerability during the pandemic.

In March 2020, California led the United States' effort to lock down part of their economy for the good of society, hoping to slow the spread of the virus to help the hospital systems stay below their breaking point. The city of Alameda announced a multi-week lockdown in this early phase, which marked the start of a hard journey in the reality of a covid-stricken country which has 4% of the world's population, yet 25% of the overall cases and the highest mortality rate.

Shortly after lockdown, Katherine experienced frequent breathing and high heart rate issues. After speaking with a medical professional, she was diagnosed with panic attacks. The hardest days early on in the pandemic saw as many as three or four major episodes, immobilizing Katherine for up to thirty minutes at a time and leaving her physically and emotionally exhausted for hours.

These images are part of that ongoing journey.