December is usually the time to look back on the year that is coming to an end. Did we achieve our goals? Did the year go as we had imagined it would? Can we take valuable insights with us into the future? But, let’s be honest, who really feels like looking back on this year? We don’t even want to switch on the TV because all the repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis would be regurgitated ad nauseam.

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© MAREEN FISCHINGER/Westend61

So let’s take a look at Westend61’s business year instead, because it’s more rewarding. There’s our new Vista collection, for example, with which we’ve put a colorful exclamation mark on and a cheerful counterpoint to gloom and crisis mood. 

Lizenzfreie Bilder zum Thema Medizin und Forschung Lizenzfreie Bilder Entschleunigung

But, of course, we couldn’t and don’t want to close our eyes to the coronavirus. That’s why we would also like to show those who are fighting on the front line, so to speak, against Covid-19 to help protect us all: Doctors, nurses, medical researchers, and pharmacists.

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© SERGIO NIEVAS/Westend61

Fully committed against the virus

For months, healthcare workers have been facing a test of strength and endurance never seen before. Many of them are reaching the limits of their mental and physical endurance, but they keep going because the hopes of millions of people rest on them when it comes to finding a medical response to the threat.

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© FOTOAGENTUR WESTEND61

In their service to the community, health workers put themselves at increased risk of infection every day. Not only do they live dangerously, but they also live in an ever-changing situation and must learn more each day. Behind the daily reported death toll, unfortunately, often hides the incalculable number of those who owe their lives to the skill and dedication of these people. Their commitment deserves gratitude and respect from all of us.

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© MAREEN FISCHINGER/Westend61

Under pressure from skyrocketing infection numbers, researchers have developed a vaccine for the coronavirus in record time. Something like this usually takes many years. The commitment of the scientists combined with a logistical and masterful performance have made it possible for us to now hopefully have an effective weapon against the virus.

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© MAREEN FISCHINGER/Westend61

Images that also give courage

A year ago, before the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe, we already expected that images with motifs in the “research” topic would be important in 2020. And yet things turned out differently. At the time, we suspected that the photographic focus would be more on technical development. Now we have realized how much more important medical research and development had become this year and will certainly remain so for a long time afterward.

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© Cavan Images

That’s why we’re sure that images like these will be with us for quite a while. They are images that force us to confront a topic that we would actually prefer to banish from our consciousness. They remind us of the sinister and invisible threat of the virus, which restricts, threatens, and can even end our lives. But these images also give us courage because they show us people who have dedicated themselves with all their might to helping us out of this situation.