All work ©VicLee2021


The Corona Diary 2020. Originally a hand illustrated journal from the mind of Vic Lee. This Diary began in mid February, when the first real news started to filter through into the UK of an impending virus that was rapidly spreading from Asia into Europe. Life was pretty much as normal in London where I am based. But you could feel this unnerving uncertainty creeping into the everyday

Moments of anxiousness began appearing. It probably didn’t help that I had recently finished a novel based on a virus that wiped out the World by a bat... perhaps my reading lists should be more light hearted. Plus my partner and I had just returned from an incredible holiday in Malaysia and Singapore on the 31st December, feeling incredibly relaxed, which would inevitably be replaced by panic.

This diary is my journey, my experiences, things that I did with friends and my partner as the Corona Virus, or technically, Covid-19 started to take a grip. It does not cover every news story or aspect of the pandemic, but is my view point. The stories I was reading, from the factual to political to the light hearted combined with my living in London and my everydayness. It is as real a diary as could be illustrated and told.

I started this diary to help me deal with basically, everything in the news. To try and make sense of things by writing and illustrating key moments for me. Good and bad. I never set out to publish this, but as I posted on social media channels, Instagram and LinkedIn, it became something more important than just myself. The messages and comments I received on my posts made me realise that many people across the world were in the same mindset. And this diary, even though told from my perspective, resonated with them. So a big thankyou to all of you that have supported me and given me the confidence to continue.


Mainly UK centric and London especially, there are news reports from around the World included, as this is what was fed to us. From Italy to Spain, Asia to America. From the sad harrowing stories to the power of humanity to come together and nature gradually filtering back into a planet decreasing in pollutants.

This is not a political piece nor meant to harm or outrage, the stories are all available through reputable news sources and I have taken words spoken by politicians and governments as readily available. It is important to include, as their comments, words and actions had an effect on my day to day living and insecurities through this period in our lives.

This Diary was my escape, but also my way to understand as each story was written and illustration conceived. It became incredibly therapeutic to put pen to paper each day.

The final printed internal pages were uncut, unedited and displayed written and illustrated as they were in real life. As a real journal should be. Unpolished, with typo’s and mistakes, loose lines and smudges.

The mainstream published edition has kept the same look, from the matt laminated cover and spot UV to the cream Munken paper on the inside. It was important working with a publisher to be able to continue the exceptional quality of the original edition, so I am grateful to Frances Lincoln for this.

I hope this is a once in a lifetime moment. I hope this book helps us to honour the people that put their lives on the frontline for strangers. To respect those everyday heroes that continued to work whilst the World closed down. And to the people that didn’t make it and the ones they leave behind.

The first volume of The Corona Diary, an Artist Edition of 2,500 signed copies, sold out in 8 weeks over Summer 2020. The signed books, each containing a limited edition print from Vic, had a unique cover design and was originally self funded and published by Vic. This edition was bought by collectors worldwide. Without the support of people believing in this project, this book would never have been released. Vic gives thanks to all those who have purchased, commented and supported this huge project from the initial shares on social media and to all the people now purchasing the published edition by Frances Lincoln.