Taiwan’s CDC Imagines Diseases As Dangerously Beautiful People
By Mikelle Leow, 19 Feb 2021
Image via Taiwan Centers for Disease Control
These characters are the very definition of beautiful but deadly.
Since 2018, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been envisioning diseases as anime characters, drawing upon viruses’ distinct features to dream up facial features and outfits. With the prevalent COVID-19 pandemic, the health agency refreshed this series to cover more diseases, which has since captured the attention of international media outlets.
Diseases like Zika, the Ebola virus disease, and the stomach flu have been personified as cover models of a magazine called Disease, with health tips as blurbs. Aside from a well-meaning character named ‘Quarantine’, the figures are all imagined as handsome devils and femme fatales.
While some might wince at the thought of waking up to a new infection each month, the Taiwanese CDC has been compiling the illustrations into calendars to create awareness.
As for why the diseases are being illustrated this way, one of the artists commissioned for the project, Chiyou, explains that the objective is for the general public to perceive the illnesses outside a textbook context so that they can understand them better.
Chiyou shares that the task to personify COVID-19 was the most challenging one yet, but he ended up coming up with a “mysterious and unpredictable” computer hacker with “always changing” faces.
The character’s ability to shapeshift means he or she can take on different forms and inhabit countries “the moment people let their guard down.” The figure is pictured with several multi-tasking hands, mimicking the spikes of the coronavirus.
Artist HANa, who took a month to design her syphilis and rubella characters, describes that it was especially difficult blending the ugly aspects of the diseases into “cute” appearances. For the syphilis model, she decided to draw a shepherdess—based on the sexually-transmitted disease’s name—with a sexual organ on her corset. The shepherdess’s clothing is adorned with red accessories to represent a rash.
Take a look at some of the illustrations below, but don’t stare for too long—they can be contagious.
Taiwan's CDC has created anime villain renditions of various diseases, and I just... *blink* pic.twitter.com/pqY8ID6Pss— Cassandra Khaw (@casskhaw) February 18, 2021
【DISEASE│ #疾病擬人】Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, October 1, 2020
有在關注DISEASE的粉絲朋友們，應該都對女王 #登革熱 跟人氣女團 #日本腦炎 不陌生吧！
本期的特別來賓同樣是 #黃病毒家族 的成員，一起歡迎充滿熱帶風情的火熱女子─...
【DISEASE│ #疾病擬人】Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, September 17, 2020
還記得去年跟大家介紹過的 #麻疹 嗎？
充滿異域風情的神秘男子─...Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, July 30, 2020
【DISEASE│ #疾病擬人】Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, August 13, 2020
Ebola Virus Disease
【DISEASE│ #疾病擬人】Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, September 24, 2020
【DISEASE│ #疾病擬人】Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, October 8, 2020
去年我們邀請了女團 #日本腦炎，今年 #超疾編 請到了電競圈的閃亮新星，由5位風格迥異的成員組成，閱讀本期雜誌前，請大家務必要小！心！肝！
【DISEASE│ #疾病擬人】Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, August 6, 2020
【DISEASE│ #疾病擬人】Posted by 疾病管制署 - 1922防疫達人 on Thursday, August 27, 2020
還記得去年介紹過的 #恙蟲病 姐姐嗎？
[via Boing Boing, images via Taiwan Centers for Disease Control]
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