At the time of this writing, the death toll of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is at 97,906 people. The incredible loss is becoming hard to reckon with, and for some people, no amount of eulogies and memorials feels like enough anymore. Many Americans are finding creative ways to mourn their losses together.
The United States now has nearly 100,000 coronavirus deaths, with a total of over 1.67 million cases and over 338,000 confirmed recoveries. Some experts say that the numbers are being under-estimated due to the difficulty in tracking and reporting every incident — especially those where patients passed away at home without ever being tested for COVID-19. As the U.S. approaches 100,000 deaths, some publications and institutions are creating memorials for as many victims as possible in one place.
I don't know how it didn't hit me until now, but more Americans will die of the virus today than are memorialized in today's edition of the New York Times. pic.twitter.com/l0ySe5WkmO— Angus Johnston 😷 (@studentactivism) May 24, 2020
Sunday's edition of The New York Times kicked off this practice with a front-page consisting of 100 obituaries printed small to fit on the paper. The gut-wrenching headline read: "U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, An Incalculable Loss." The page made the rounds on social media throughout the day.
Likewise, CNN created a new webpage on Friday called "We Remember," which includes a constantly-updating list of obituaries for coronavirus victims. Users can submit a tribute for their loved one to the site, which can consist of text, pictures, and even embedded music. Scrolling through the memorials drives home the extent of the loss, which includes people of all ages and backgrounds.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the worldwide death toll of COVID-19 is now over 343,000 people, out of over 5.35 million confirmed cases. There have been 2.14 million confirmed recoveries worldwide. The U.S. was the epicenter of the global pandemic for a while, making up a disproportionate amount of the worldwide death toll. Still, experts now fear that South America is becoming the epicenter.
On Friday, the World Health Organization officially named South America as a global epicenter in the coronavirus outbreak. Brazil was the worst-hit country on the continent, and public health experts urged leaders there to take steps to protect the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions.
"We've seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases and clearly there's a concern across many of those countries, but certainly the most affected is Brazil at this point," said the WHO's executive director of emergencies program, Mike Ryan. "In a sense, South America has become a new epicenter for the disease."