We don’t need a coronavirus memorial: We need people to take responsibility

What+will+a+Covid-19+memorial+look+like%3F++Will+people+remember%3F

Erich Miller

What will a Covid-19 memorial look like? Will people remember?

by Jordan Grab, Reporter

The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/iv8vh

As of December 10, Covid-19 has killed over 285,000 Americans.  When you read this, it will be well over 300,000.  While it might almost seem like a small number compared to the millions of people who have survived and the millions who have tested negative, the virus affects every individual.

Unfortunately, cases and deaths are projected to increase drastically throughout the holidays and as a result of the holiday celebrations.

On December 10, over 3,000 Americans died from Covid-19–in one day. We are all numb to the numbers–even as they grow, I have tried to research statistics that will help show the size of the numbers we are seeing from a human perspective. 

Antietam 

The bloodiest and deadliest one-day battle of the Civil War–often called “The Bloodiest Day in American History, there were 3,650 dead and 19,350 injured.   

Luminaries at the Antietam memorial are lit every December 5th.  Over 23,000 luminaries are lit, and the luminaries cover the battlefield in a silent testimony.

Imagine if the coronavirus had a memorial such as this.  There are currently 13 times as many deaths in America from the coronavirus compared to Antietam.  That’s 56 miles of luminaries – An unbroken line of candles from Frederick, Maryland to Washington, D.C.

9/11

One of the most horrific terrorist attacks the world has ever seen. There were 2,977 dead and 6,000 injured.   

The plaza that serves as a memorial for the victims of 9/11 is a sad place. Thousands of names carved into stone, all of whom died in the incident. The memorial has had over 50 million  visitors since its opening.

What kind of memorial plaza will there be for the victims of Covid-19?  Will there be one in every major city?  Frederick County, Maryland has experienced 165 local deaths.  Will Baker Park have a memorial in the future?

Vietnam War

The war in which we failed to prevent Vietnam from becoming a Communist country was also one in which many lives were lost. The data includes, 58,000 American deaths and 304,000 wounded.

Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.  is famously in the shape of a V. On January 31, 1968, 246 Americans were killed in action. Although this is horrific, the coronavirus daily deaths outstrips this tenfold.  

A similar memorial to a memorial to coronavirus victims would be dramatically larger, and, to include every name, would require a memorial more than six times the size (if the deaths ended this month).

WWII

The war to end all wars.  The world defeated Hitler and his Nazi Regime, but at a cost. In that effort to defeat the enemy, 407,316 Americans were killed and 671,278 were injured. Projections for the end of December.

On Memorial Day, 240,000 flags are placed every year at Arlington National Cemetery. by families and friends mourning the loss of those who were lost in battle.

Imagine the flags we will place on our loved one’s graves for years to come.

Spanish Influenza Virus of 1918

This was one of the worst epidemics the world has ever seen. There were 675,000 American deaths.  Covid-19 is projected to surpass the Spanish Influenza virus death toll within a couple of months, if cases do not drop.

Do these events seem, well, in the past? 

Think of it this way. Frederick County has a population of 260,000 residents. The death toll by December 10 exceeds that–it’s like wiping out our whole county.  

Twenty years from now, when I am raising my family, I won’t want to visit a memorial site to Coronavirus 2020. I don’t want luminaries, statues, monuments or flags. I just want people to realize and value the efforts to stop the virus. I want people to know what to do when another pandemic shuts down our country.