Folks, Wednesday was a surreal day for me. Why? Because I spent the day working with a team of volunteers and professionals to convert the beautiful gothic Cathedral of Saint John the Divine into a field hospital for Mount Sinai Hospital. Turning this magnificent cathedral into a place to bring sick Covid-19 patients was beyond strange. I felt like we were building a film set for a movie about the plague in the middle ages. The blue plastic tarps we used to protect the cathedral’s floors were one of the few reminders of which century it was. And the news, which was constantly streaming.
To see so many people giving their time and their sweat to help despite concerns about the Covid-19 virus was truly moving and life-affirming. Thankfully, New York appears for now to have reached the peak of its Covid-19 curve. And Mount Sinai now says it probably won’t have to use the field hospital. I’ve never been so glad to have a day’s work turn out to be unnecessary.
If you have a couple of minutes, flip through the gallery of the photographs I shot of the volunteers and the hospital as it rose up inside the stone walls of Saint John the Divine. What emotions rise up for you? Because I’ll admit, I was a bit of a mess by the time I got home. I held my wife close, and called my folks and my siblings. Then I poured myself a drink before turning on the news yet again.
Stay safe and well, everyone. And wear your masks. After all, even our furry clients are socially distancing these days.
Brett Deutsch is co-owner and chief photographer of Headshots NYC, Gotham Family Photos and Deutsch Photography. Formally trained at the New York Institute of Photography, the School of Visual Arts and Pomona College, plus nearly 20 years of photography in New York City and on all 7 continents. His work can be found on The New York Times. Time Out London. Dallas Morning News. Backstage, and on countless websites, newsletters, annual reports and other publications.