Inking your skin is just one last step in the journey of giving yourself a tattoo. In reality, it all starts from hours spent browsing tattoo ideas and annoying your friends with an endless stream of "what do you think?" images.

And our love for ink has never been so big. A recent study has shown that 30% of Americans have at least one tattoo, which is five times more than eight years ago.

But many people have found a source of inspiration in the recent pandemic. In fact, coronavirus-themed tattoos are becoming a quirky sub-genre which represents everything we’ve been living with in the past months. From tributes to front-line doctors to the holy symbol of pandemic chaos, a toilet paper roll, scroll down for the best ones as compiled by Bored Panda.

#1

Coronavirus-Tattoos

Today I got this design tattooed, it is Banksy's tribute to Covid doctors - a child who chooses the doctor among the heroes to play with! 

emanuele.santaniello Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Can't beat a bit of Banksy - always hits the nail right on the head

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#3

Coronavirus-Tattoos

Just a quick little jammer about how we all feel about 2020

eddypiercehi Report

Bambi
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nice! Giving 2020 the finger! Lol

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Bored Panda reached out to Josh Young, a professional tattoo artist and owner of Highwater Gallery, Swansea to find out more about the ink on skin industry in the times of the pandemic.

Josh said that even though he hasn’t seen a rise in coronavirus-inspired tattoos himself, he's witnessed a few tongue-in-cheek ones, like “‘I survived COVID 19’ in a banner, or a twist on the traditional woman by adding a nurse outfit and a mask.”

“There will probably be a lot more being done in the next few months, after things get back to some form of normality. It’s all quite fresh at the moment and no one really knows which way this pandemic will go.”

#4

Coronavirus-Tattoos

Tattoo for the doctor, inspired by the current situation in the world, based on a drawing by @engelhardt_art

ingabolotova , engelhardt_art Report

#5

Coronavirus-Tattoos

th_ink_cuba Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This one is great. We're all in this together.

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#6

Coronavirus-Tattoos

catlynefable Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These plague doctors are beginning to scare me a bit. Only a bit. But enough.

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Having said that, Josh stays skeptical as to whether the coronavirus is a good source of inspiration. “The fact is, people have passed away due to it and I don’t think it’s particularly nice to use it as inspiration for a tattoo idea, unless done in a positive way.” But the artist said it’s not up to him to tell people what to get.

On the other hand, Josh has seen good coming out of the crisis too. “I’ve seen a few tattooists who have offered discount tattoos to key workers during this whole pandemic, which is a positive thing to come out of it and a way of giving back to those who have been on the frontline.”

#7

Coronavirus-Tattoos

Let's be responsible in this situation. Take care of yourself and let us take care of the most vulnerable.

andresmakishi Report

#8

Coronavirus-Tattoos

He wanted to surprise his wife with this tattoo that represents her for all the effort and sacrifice she has made and there is still to be done in this stage that we are all living. Thank you very much for the creative freedom and the good time!

blackpeony_tattoo Report

#9

Coronavirus-Tattoos

francesca__verna Report

Jayne Kyra
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Some people go home to their families. Some people´s pets are their only family.

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Since during the lockdown, all tattoo shops were closed, many businesses have had no choice but to stand still. But now that many salons have reopened, Josh said “there has been a huge increase in bookings and work.”

Josh believes that the “lockdown gave people a lot of time to plan their tattoo, a lot of tattooists were in touch with their regular clients and could discuss potential ideas and concepts.”

He also said this may be due to the fact that people stayed inside and saved some money that they can now put towards getting some ink art done.

#12

Coronavirus-Tattoos

Last week's tattoo for an emergency nurse at Jove hospital. Thank you very much and thank you very much for the work you do.

dr_vega_tattooer Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This one is just beautiful. The colors are so vibrant.

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#14

Coronavirus-Tattoos

lujuriatattoo Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yep. Not all superheroes wear capes. Some wear scrubs.

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#15

Coronavirus-Tattoos

seanhollandtat2 Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very clever the way the suds appear as a rosary or prayer beads

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#19

Coronavirus-Tattoos

The only kind of germs you DO want right now!

tatty.cake Report

#21

Coronavirus-Tattoos

My newest tattoo in honor of COVID-19 

dapherding Report

#22

Coronavirus-Tattoos

mvttys Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The only time I go out is to get groceries. But that keeps me sane.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#25

Coronavirus-Tattoos

Quarantine love

lovettetattoos Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Banksy-esque updated for the current times

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#28

Coronavirus-Tattoos

gattagnudatattoo Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

2020 has been officially canceled.

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#29

Coronavirus-Tattoos

tattoosbymeri Report

Catherine Brady
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This depicts the spirit of nursing. but not the exhaustion, dispare and depression caused by Covid-19.

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#30

Coronavirus-Tattoos

__borderlinetattoos__ Report

Oskar vanZandt
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Okay... personally, I would have gone for something more symbolic rather than literal.

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Note: this post originally had 113 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.