Research, Illustration, Design
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, there was a frenzy of uncertainty about the future, an overwhelming amount of information and disinformation, and no clear visuals on how COVID-19 affected the body. I saw an opportunity to contribute to educational efforts and use my background in medical illustration to create an infographic. My main goals were to: 1) use evidence-based research to inform the public on how COVID-19 affects the body so that they take preventative measures, 2) to summarize current COVID-19 pathology and clinical information in a single, digestible infographic in order to engage and educate viewers.
We now know that COVID-19 has incredibly widespread effects throughout the body, and can culminate in chronic illnesses such as long COVID; however, at the time this was published, the main research was about pneumonia caused by COVID-19. This infographic was one of the first published on how COVID-19 affects human lungs. It was initially shared on Twitter, going viral and racking up over 2 million views. It has since been translated into 18 languages and shared around the globe.
Research & Ideation
To get started, I did a literature search on recently published papers about COVID-19. I collected any relevant information about its effects on the human body and cross-referenced research done on previous types of coronaviruses. I collected visual references to determine the most effective way to visualize pathology in the alveoli of the lungs. After gathering references and refining my content outline, I created various thumbnail sketches to explore different layout designs.
The final images were illustrated using the iPad app, Procreate. After sharing it online via social media, I received a request from Discover Magazine to publish my piece as a special report in their first COVID-19 edition!
PDFs of all translations can be downloaded here.
Attribution for translation:
French (Français) - Translated by Richard Ying
Spanish (Español) - Translated by Ronan's School and Luis Hume
German (Deutsch) - Translated by Ulrike Eberius
Turkish (Türkçe) - Translated by Dr. Mustafa Özdoğan
Romanian (Română) - Translated by Andrei Cioban
Russian (русский) - Translated by Alexander Golovkov and Dr. Jacob Mirkin
Arabic (عربى) - Translated by Michael Refaat
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) - Translated by W. Kurniawan
Catalan (Català, Spain) - Translated by Joan-Carles Escolano
Ukrainian (Українська) - Translated by Serhiy Chornoknyzhnyi
Simplified Chinese (简体中文) - Translated by Hu ChuanZhen
Traditional Chinese (繁體中文) - Adapted by Johnny SZE
Italian (lo italiano) - Translated by Simona Caporali and Gilberto Genga
Xhosa (isiXhosa) - Translated by Patience Zantsi
Afrikaans - Translated by Graham Louw
Serbian (Srpski) - Translated by Ivana Prokic