because of jessica wildfire, I found martin rowson

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 minutes.

JESSICA WILDFIRE IS BECOMING one of my fa­vorite jour­nal­ists. She de­scribes her­self as an “un­flu­encer,” which I as­sume is a play on those odd crea­tures of so­cial media known as “in­flu­encers.” She is also a top writer in gov­ern­ment, health, pol­i­tics, cul­ture, and life on Medium. And be­cause of her, if rather in­di­rectly, I dis­cov­ered the art­work of Martin Rowson.

I fin­ished reading Wild­fire’s latest ar­ticle “Things Anti-Vaxxers Told Me This Week,” which opens with these lines: “The anti-vaxxers are angry at us. They say we’ve been judg­mental. We don’t listen to them. We don’t re­spect their views. So I started listening.”

The rightwinger’s motto: “All in­for­ma­tion is sub­jec­tive and no­body can prove anything.”

Here is what the anti-covid-vaxxers (who I as­sume are also the anti-maskers) had to say:

•  “Rules don’t work, so we shouldn’t have them.”
•  “Everyone’s re­spon­sible for their own health.”
•  “No­body can prove anything.”
•  “If it’s not hap­pening to you, it doesn’t matter.”
•  “All in­for­ma­tion is subjective.”
•  “Everyone has a right to a bad opinion.”

These were the two questions:

1. What’s gonna happen when anti-mask/anti-covid-vaccination par­ents send their chil­dren to a school that does not man­date vac­cines and masks and those chil­dren come home with Covid? 1

2. Who are those par­ents gonna blame? 2


Martin Rowson: photo of Jessica Wildfire.

To offset the grotesque and some­what ugly im­ages in Mr. Row­sons’s car­toons below with some­thing fair, I have in­cluded this photo of Jes­sica Wild­fire from her Amazon au­thor’s page. There you will learn that she has pub­lished three books: Pro­fessor Gone Wild, How To Train Your Demon: Es­says For Screw Ups, and Go Get Your Every­thing: The Shortest Self-Help Guide You’ll Ever.

Martin Rowson’s covid cartoons

To catch readers’ at­ten­tion, I wanted a dra­matic image so went off to Google and typed in “covid virus car­toon.” This led me to the fan­tastic image at the top of this page. I traced this car­toon to Martin Rowson, a reg­ular con­trib­utor to the British news­paper The Guardian. Need­less to say, the image above wasn’t the only piece by Rowson that WOW!-ed me.

Rowson con­tributes his art­work pri­marily to The Guardian along with the Daily Mirror, the Tri­bune, the Index on Cen­sor­ship, and the Morning Star. He is chair of the British Car­toon­ists’ As­so­ci­a­tion and has pub­lished thir­teen books of fic­tion and artwork.

So, I wanted to share my “dis­covery” of Rowson and so se­lected five of his pieces that ad­dressed the global Covid-19 pan­demic. Each image in­cludes a blurb from The Guardian ad­dressing the topic of the ar­ticle for which Rowson did the car­toon. Right-click on any image to en­large it.


Martin Rowson cartoon: Covid Variants.

Vac­cines and coro­n­avirus variants
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vac­cine of­fers as little as 10% pro­tec­tion against the Covid variant first seen in South Africa, re­searchers have suggested.”
(Feb­ruary 8, 2021)


 Martin Rowson cartoon: UK Coronavirus Lockdown.
Boris Johnson’s coro­n­avirus lock­down easing
eople in Eng­land and Wales—and parts of Scotland—can now eat in­side restau­rants and pubs (but please don’t); can hug (but be very careful); can go abroad on hol­iday (with a lot of caveats): the re­lax­ation of rules of­fers some very mixed public messaging.”
(May 17, 2021)
Martin Rowson cartoon: Boris Johnson Covid Report Card.
Boris Johnson’s Covid re­port card
The UK’s public spending watchdog has found that the gov­ern­ment had no con­tin­gency plans in place to deal with the Covid crisis.”
(May 19, 2021)
Martin Rowson cartoon: Covid Masks Off
Masks off or consequences
Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid and Priti Patel tackle foot­ball, Covid and asylum seekers.”
(July 7, 2021)
MartinRowson cartoon UKCovidPingdemic 1200
The UK’s Covid pingdemic
Min­is­ters have shelved pro­posals to ur­gently over­haul the Covid con­tact tracing app in Eng­land as cases surge, prompting claims they have lost con­trol of the so-called ‘ping­demic’.”
(July 16, 2021)


Martin Rowson cartoon: UK Coronavirus Journey.
The UK’s coro­n­avirus journey
A sci­en­tist ad­vising the gov­ern­ment has ac­cused min­is­ters of al­lowing in­fec­tions to rip through the younger pop­u­la­tion in an ef­fort to bol­ster levels of im­mu­nity be­fore the NHS faces winter pres­sures.”
(July 23, 2021)



To read more of Jes­sica Wild­fire’s writing on Medium, click here.

To see more of Martin Row­son’s art in The Guardian, click here.



1   I ini­tially wrote, “What’s gonna happen when anti-mask/anti-covid-vaccination par­ents send their chil­dren to a school that does not man­date vac­cines and masks and those chil­dren get Covid and die?” but thought better of it.

2   I ini­tially wrote, “Who are those par­ents gonna blame—Biden or Obama or that old standby bo­geyman, the lib­eral col­lege pro­fessor of the ’60s?” but, again, changed my mind.


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