As you might know, this site St. Louis Covid Memorial is the efforts of one woman, me, Jessica Murray. I hand write each memorial as a synopsis from each COVID-19 victim’s obituary and any relevant social media or other information I find about them. This part, even after getting it down to a “routine” takes over an hour each night… and then an hour or so more, to decompress. When I write about these people in St. Louis who have died of coronavirus, they’re “real” to me and it makes me sad that our world has lost their light. It’s incredibly depressing.
Unfortunately people are still dying of this virus, and obituaries that mention COVID-19 as cause of death represent only a fraction of our collective loss (with an unintentional bias that does not represent the fact that black people are dying at almost twice the rate as white people). This was not the “summer” or even “2020” project that I thought it would be. It’s an ongoing documentation and writing project which by continually humanizing the numbers as I write about each person, is incredibly depressing to me.
I’m changing how I “do” things from here out in an effort to balance out my mental health and also so that I can have time for my many other hobbies (I also love my birds, photography, writing about other things, teaching myself how to do various home repairs, reading, and occasionally vintage). I’ve decided to focus more on the task of preserving and archiving this sad history as it happens, and post originally written memorials only a few times a week. I feel that it’s more important for me to catalog and archive the names and photos (if available) of those who have died before their obituaries get lost in the unsorted archives of funeral homes and publications (obituaries and death notices sometimes are posted for only a few months, as I’ve discovered). I’ve taken time to screenshot and save everything, and will simply be posting the person’s name, age, date of death, and where (if available) they were from and where they died. I’ll be posting a screenshot of the original obituary and a link. This will save me the time and heartache of writing original memorials six nights a week.
Feel free – as always- to send memorials and posts of your loved ones, which I will promptly post unedited!