18 Covid-19 Tattoo Ideas in 2022

After being closed for months due to the pandemic, over 20,000+ tattoo studios across the USA are opening their doors again… and their schedules are filling up with some intriguing requests and tattoo ideas.

The pandemic has been a history-altering, life-changing event we’ve all collectively survived through, and for some, that warrants an inked reminder.

There’s a fresh new wave of COVID-19 related tattoos hitting the market, ranging from the weird and the wonderful, memorial pieces, funny art, and everything between.

If you’re looking for some eye-catching designs to model your next bit of ink on, read on for our list of the 18 most interesting pandemic tattoo ideas.

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Right now, we’re living through history in the making. In 20 years our children and their children will study the pandemic, with a focus on how governments and the people coped and struggled. They’ll come to you with questions, so what better way to show them how it affected you than a tattoo representing your experience?

Surviving not only the virus, but the loneliness, disconnection, and dissection of society is something to be proud of – and some want to memorialize that.

So, what are these controversial new tattoo designs?

1. Toilet Roll

Both the USA and the UK saw a shortage in toilet roll, of all things, when the lockdowns hit and panic buyers raided the shelves.

Having become a bit of a national joke, toilet roll has been one of the most popular themes for post-pandemic tattoo designs. If you’re looking for fun tattoos that are Coronavirus-related and lighthearted, a funny toilet roll piece might be on the cards.

We’ve seen toilet rolls with angel wings, a Coronavirus cell with arms cheekily handing you a toilet roll, and a toilet roll with ‘survivor’ etched into it, just to name a few of the wacky designs people are coming up with.

2. We Can Do It

Remember the American WWII propaganda poster with a woman, flexing her bicep, claiming ‘We Can Do It’? It was designed to boost morale for the female workforce supporting the war effort from the munitions factories.

Adopted and updated by modern artists, the new COVID-19 tattoo design features the woman on the poster in nurses scrubs and a facemask, sometimes clutching a vaccination injection. If you’re looking for tattoo ideas for women, you could put your own spin on this classic piece.

3. Coronavirus Cell

If you’re into more modern designs, you might be leaning towards a more scientific image. Some designs include the Coronavirus cell under a microscope, which is often used on educational posters and television adverts and an image we all recognize by now. If you’re looking for something even more special and scientific, check out MIT’s incredible new ‘living tattoo’.

It doesn’t have to be all science-related, though. We’ve seen coronavirus cell tattoos that are cheeky, funny, or downright rude!

4. Memorial Tattoo

Memorial tattoos aren’t a new fad – human beings are very sentimental.

If you’ve lost someone to the pandemic – or during the pandemic – a memorial piece is a lovely idea. If you have a favorite photo of your loved one, take it to your tattooist to remember them in ink forever.

5. Mask Tattoo

Yes, believe it or not, people are getting mask tattoos. The pro to designing a mask tattoo is that you can do anything with it – arty, funny, detailed, or simple. If you’ve got some skill with a pencil, you could design your own modest mask piece.

Some designs have included teddy bears with masks, a mask hanging off a finger, and even Lady Liberty wearing a face covering.

6. Survivor Tattoo

Surviving COVID-19 is a feat, especially if you’re at risk, and some survivors want to wear their pride on their sleeve – literally. If you’re looking for tattoo sleeve ideas that are COVID-related, you could take several designs from this list and compile them for a sleeve that’ll tell your COVID-19 journey.

You can do anything with a survivor tattoo – it’s whatever surviving Coronavirus means to you. That might be an achievement because of mental or physical health.

Some people opt for small tattoo ideas with meaning, and some go for more obvious tattoos which feature the word ‘survivor’. Another option that’s less obviously about Coronavirus could be an animal tattoo, like a lion which means ‘strength’ and ‘courage’, or a hawk, which means ‘independence’, ‘harmony’, and ‘progress’.

7. Motivational Quote

Love them or hate them, motivational quotes have helped get many people through the pandemic one day at a time.

As humans, we like quotes for two reasons: one, because they’re tiny stories in a couple of lines that carry a huge amount of meaning. Two, because it’s nice to know that we aren’t the only ones feeling fear, worry, regret, sadness.

They make us feel less lonely – and as a design, they’re great conversation starters.

8. Grim Reaper

While getting a tattoo of the grim reaper to commemorate the pandemic and those we’ve lost is quite somber, we all grieve in our own way. If you’re looking for something a little edgier and darker, a grim reaper-esque tattoo might be something to consider.

A similar design that has been hugely popular since the beginning of modern tattooing is skulls and skulls with flowers blooming out of them. While they’re perceived by society as dark, angry designs that mean death, that often isn’t the case for whoever is wearing it. Often, they’re quite masculine in style, so skull designs can be great tattoo ideas for men.

Many people who have skull tattoos wear them as a celebration of life. They’re supposed to represent that eventually, we’ll all end up as bones, and serve as a reminder to live our lives to their fullest and brightest while we have the chance.

9. Personal Tattoos

If you’ve lost someone during the pandemic and you’d like a design that’ll commemorate them but you don’t want a COVID-specific tattoo, you might want to consider a design personal to them or you.

You can design your own tattoo, or you can go to your local tattoo artist and ask them to draw you up an original tattoo based on your brief.

When you’re thinking about your design, consider these things:

  • When you think of your loved one, what hobbies, objects or shapes come to mind
  • Do you want the tattoo in color, or in black and white
  • Are there any themes you want to incorporate
  • How big and where on your body do you want it to be

10. Flowers

Flowers and death are intrinsically linked. They’re laid at funerals and graves, and people often pick beautiful flower designs to memorialize the lost.

They’re much less macabre than some of the other designs on this list, and you’ve got huge design freedom when it comes to flower tattoos because you can pick any flower in any color.

11. Rona Wuz Here

Millennials and Gen Z’s have a penchant for coping with depressing situations through comedy – and for the ongoing pandemic, it’s no different.

Like you might find scrawled on the inside of a locker or toilet stall door, a nod to the classic retro ’90s with a Wuz Here tattoo is a funny way to lighten up a very heavy subject. If you’re looking for stick-and-poke ideas, this is a great one.

12. Fallout-Themed Designs

If you’re a fan of the post-apocalyptic video game series Fallout, you’ll be familiar with the Fallout Boy. If you aren’t, Fallout Boy is a simply drawn animation who usually finds himself with an unfortunate demise in propaganda-type posters dotted around the game, from radiation poisoning making his arm fall off to irradiated giant roaches eating him whole.

Video game lovers are designing crossovers with the widely-recognizable Fallout graphics. If you’re an avid gamer, there’s loads of fun to be had drawing up different Fallout Boy designs.

Some launch-off points could be him toppling over trying to carry a huge pile of toilet roll, sitting in an armored shopping cart Mad Max-style, or in his famous blue jumpsuit with ‘COVID 19’ on the back.

13. Post Apocalyptic

On the theme of post-apocalyptic designs, if you like the idea but don’t want a video game-themed tattoo, don’t despair – there are hundreds of amazing apocalypse designs to draw inspiration from.

One style to consider is gas masks, a nod to our healthcare workers who are often suited up in heavy PPE. Along the same vein, tattoos of plague doctors wearing their infamously creepy beaked masks have risen in popularity.

While we aren’t living in a post-apocalyptic world, at times it has looked like it. Images of Fifth Avenue completely empty, store shelves barren, people in so much PPE they look like homemade hazmat suits, and signs everywhere to keep away from each other have been the inspiration for artists and designers everywhere, from tattoos to pieces of art and exhibits.

14. Corona Beer

The unfortunately-named Corona beer became a bit of a cult icon during lockdown. While some people may have avoided the beer because of its name, others were drawn towards it, seeing the funny side.

Amazingly, even Corona beer tattoos have become popular – with designs including the label saying ‘Corona Virus’ in its font, radioactive symbols, or even COVID-19 cells floating around in the drink itself!

15. Earth Wearing a Mask

The whole world has been impacted by Corona – with masks becoming a staple in most people’s handbags, cars, homes, and coat pockets. Masks are everywhere, and for most people when you see a surgical mask now, you think ‘pandemic’.

Check out all the variations of a personified planet Earth, looking very cute with animated arms and eyes, and a big white mask stretched across its face.

16. Bat Tattoo

The wild (and false) story of COVID-19’s apparent origin reads like the beginning of a DC comic book – a man, eating a bat, and then spreading it to the rest of humanity. And now, it’s been adopted by the tattoo community.

We’ve seen a huge increase in bat tattoo designs; hyper-realistic clusters of bats, angry animated bats, mutant bats with green lizard tongues, radioactive bats. The possibilities are endless.

17. Essential Worker

Essential workers have been the backbone of the nation. Many have worked through the pandemic, on the frontlines, and want to get a tattoo in commemoration of that – and we fully support it.

Some popular essential worker tattoos have been:

  • Nurses or doctors in full scrubs and PPE
  • A heartbeat monitor line (with personalization like a heart or a cross within it)
  • survived coronavirus tattoo
  • A hand holding a flower
  • A stethoscope surrounded by flowers
  • Vaccination tattoos

18. Lotus Flower

We’ve touched upon flower tattoos, but one unisex design that became very popular in 2021 and into 2022 is the lotus flower. It symbolizes strength, hardship, and overcoming obstacles.

It’s also the Buddhist symbol for new beginnings and rebirth. The eight lotus flower petals represent the Eightfold Path which Buddhists practice for mindfulness and peace.

In Hinduism, it’s known as Padma, the Sanskrit word for lotus, and symbolizes delicacy, purity, and spirituality. Lotus flowers are popular worldwide for their beauty, and the general belief is that they grow out of mud and dirt, and that’s why they’re seen as a symbol of rebirth.

Dreaming Up Tattoo Ideas? Book Yours Now!

Skin Factory tattoo studios are located in Henderson, Las Vegas, and Maui and service both loyal locals and tourists who are looking for a safe, expert tattoo experience away from over-priced regular tourist hotspots.

After reading through our extensive list of tattoo ideas to commemorate living through the Coronavirus pandemic, come and find your perfect tattoo! Either bring your art with you or give us a call and book a consultation with one of our experienced artists for a piece of art you’ll love for a lifetime.

To learn more, contact us here.

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