Nine months after the first case was reported in the United States, the number of people who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. is nearly twice the number of American service people who died in World War I, and the death toll continues to rise. Books of remembrance are more commonly used, particularly in the U.K. and Canada, to commemorate those who have died at war. The COVID-19 Book of Remembrance is proposed to honor the memory of those lives lost to the disease in the United States.
As designed, the COVID-19 Book of Remembrance would require thirty 1000-page volumes to contain the names of the approximately 231,000 people who have died as of November 1, 2020. These volumes would be sprawling, bound together by coptic stitch, so that the books may continue to expand, as required, until the pandemic has been completely eradicated.
To date, the 45th President of the United States has offered virtually no consolation for those sick or grieving, likely in order to deflect blame for his careless and reckless handling of the pandemic. This lack of recognition, and the lack of opportunities to mourn collectively, make reckoning with this incredible loss deeply challenging.
These books would become a site for recognition and acknowledgment for those who have perished because of this terrible disease.