The Gdansk Embrace – Coronavirus Mini-Story of the Day

Every time lockdown was lifted, people would flood into the streets. Whenever that happened from place to place, there would be public screaming and laughing and hugging. Occasional looting. Occasional sex.

Each time, there were countless photos, selfies and not. As each place broke free (enough) from the virus, it was a foregone conclusion that there would be months and months of endless celebration for the globe to witness, one release after another, strung together somehow as one.

Amidst the months-long cacophony of activity and documentation was a photo, from Poland. People filled the street. All the chaos seemed to be there in the frame, people from all walks of life, all ages, doing good, doing bad. And in the middle, quiet, two people, holding each other, their faces buried in each other’s necks, their bodies so close, their fashion so generic. Were they lovers, family, friends? Male, female? Nobody who saw them could say for sure.

The calm in the storm, the connection after the isolation, the infinite relatability of two people whose identities couldn’t be sussed out, somehow it all came together. The photo was shared and re-shared until it became the world’s image of the ending of it all.

For those who’d grown up with a picture of a Times Square kiss on V-J Day embedded in popular consciousness, it was curious to see this new image capture the imagination of the entire globe.

See all Coronavirus Mini-Stories of the Day

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