Notes From Ground Zero: NYC in the time of coronavirus.
An ongoing photo-documentry project by Photographer Ocean Morisset
Being away from the city for almost two months, I found it a little disorienting moving about the public space, whether on the trains or the streets.
Having to be hyper aware of my movements, what I touch, who I am near, or who moves close to me is stressful. I sanitize my hands with the bottle I carry in my pocket seemingly every 5 minutes. If I wore gloves, I think my stress level would be higher because of the added pressure of being mindful of cross-contamination.
I don’t like this new normal, but I comply fiercely because of my singular focused mission: to keep me, my family and those around me protected, as best can be. I can’t get used to the site of masked strangers in public, some overdone, but I get infuriated when someone isn’t wearing any PPE at all, and they move towards my “space” unconcerned. Naturally, my instinct is to move, but done often enough while walking about some streets in NYC on my way to work, it becomes a game dodging and avoiding. When social distancing guidelines in NYC are relaxed in a few weeks, people will undoubtedly be challenged.
On the subway, black and brown bodies, all “essential workers” with masked faces are heading to jobs where they may or may not be treated as “essential”, but they go anyway, because they have no other choice.
What rests in the foreground of my mind is the question: “just how long will this nightmare go on for?” I have no answers, only hope for a better and brighter future for all.
Ocean Morisset is a self-taught , award-winning photographer with nearly twenty years of experience specializing in Photojournalism and Documentary photography. A self described "humanitarian-with-a-camera", Ocean also explores Fine Art photography and engages with a wide range of subjects in life, though his passion remain in telling stories with photos, captured candidly. Ocean often uses his iphone to capture fleeting moments, using the stealth of a ninja and a zen-like sensitivity towards his subjects. The iphone allows him to get close, remain stealthy in his approach,and capture intimate moments, that tell the story of the human condition.
Ocean’s choice of subject matter reveals his humanitarianism, as he has a keen eye for the unnoticed and under-appreciated aspects of life, and presents them in a way that the viewer takes hold of the image for their own self-reflection.