COVID tattoos on the rise in Spain’s Costa del Sol as people find a creative way to memorialise their experience
In what has been a unique year in Spain since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, people on the Costa del Sol have come up with a novel way to express both the traumas and victories they have experienced – by getting ‘Covid tattoos’. Artists in the region have reported a huge upsurge a demand from people wanting to immortalise the date of their vaccination or the day they overcame the virus, as well as those paying tribute to front line health workers.
According to McCoy, founder of Tattoo Stone, the oldest studio in Malaga, which opened in 1994, requests for tattoos of bats, masks and inspirational coronavirus-related quotes are on the rise. He recently inked one nurse with a picture of herself in a mask and military-style uniform.
“It’s because they have been on the front line,” McCoy told Spanish daily Sur.
“A lot of people who ask for these tattoos have experience of the virus, either because they have been very ill with it themselves or their relatives have, and they want a reminder of what they have been through and how they got over it,” he added.
One of his best customers is Sergio Pineda, the owner of a roast chicken business in Puerto de la Torre, whose wife Maribel García was one of the first people to be diagnosed with Covid in Malaga. As well as a picture of a bat holding the Earth in a cage, Mr Pineda has tattooed a date along with a Covid symbol on his foot.
“That’s the day my wife became very ill,” he explained.
“She was really bad, but she wasn’t admitted to hospital. We went through that together and wanted to record it for posterity,” Mr Pineda said.
Maribel thankfully recovered fully from Covid.
It’s no secret that Spain, along with the rest of the world, will be reeling from the after-effects of Covid for many years to come, and for those who choose to get inked it is a permanent reminder of what we have come through as a nation.
“Some ask how I could do this, with what we are still going through. It’s a reminder to myself of how bad things were, but it’s also a tribute to all the families who have suffered because of the coronavirus,” he concluded.