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Chris Duncan, whose 75-year-old mom Constance died from COVID-19 on her birthday, pictures a COVID-19 Memorial Challenge set up of 20,000 American flags on the Nationwide Mall as the US crosses the 200,000 lives misplaced within the COVID-19 pandemic on Sept. 22, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. will possible cross the mark of half 1,000,000 lives misplaced to COVID-19 within the coming days.

Win McNamee/Getty Photos


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Win McNamee/Getty Photos

Chris Duncan, whose 75-year-old mom Constance died from COVID-19 on her birthday, pictures a COVID-19 Memorial Challenge set up of 20,000 American flags on the Nationwide Mall as the US crosses the 200,000 lives misplaced within the COVID-19 pandemic on Sept. 22, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. will possible cross the mark of half 1,000,000 lives misplaced to COVID-19 within the coming days.

Win McNamee/Getty Photos

The U.S. loss of life toll from COVID-19 is on observe to move a quantity subsequent week that when appeared unthinkable: Half 1,000,000 individuals on this nation lifeless from the coronavirus.

And whereas the pandemic is not over but, and the loss of life toll retains climbing, artists in each medium have already been fascinated about how our nation pays tribute to these we misplaced.

Poets, muralists, and designers all have visions of what a COVID-19 memorial could possibly be. Many of those concepts are about extra than simply honoring these we have misplaced to the pandemic. Artists are additionally fascinated about the circumstances in society that introduced us right here.

Tracy Okay. Smith, a former U.S. poet laureate, has already written one poem honoring transit staff in New York who died of the illness. Smith says she needs to see a COVID-19 memorial that has a broader mission and invitations individuals to bridge a divide.

Paul Farber runs Monument Lab, a corporation that works with cities and states that wish to construct new monuments. He says he needs to see a COVID-19 monument that’s collective expertise and evolves over time. He additionally needs it to function a bridge to understanding.

Farber’s checklist describes probably the most highly effective memorials in current American historical past: the AIDS quilt. Mike Smith, co-founder of that memorial, says that one focus of the AIDS quilt undertaking that he wish to see in a COVID-19 memorial is inspiring communities to return collectively and to not isolate in processing and remembering those that died.

In taking part areas, you will additionally hear an area information phase that may assist you to make sense of what is going on on in your group.

Electronic mail us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Lee Hale, Noah Caldwell and Jonaki Mehta. It was edited by Sami Yenigun with assist from Sarah Handel, Courtney Dorning and Wynne Davis. Our govt producer is Cara Tallo.

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