RPE @ Uni Glos reflects on death and memory, or the lack of it!


(The above image is that of Renwick Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island)

How long should we remember the dead? Why are some events represented in the way that they are and others forgotten or conveniently disregarded? After reading the attached article pondered these questions whilst listening to my partner, who works for a third sector organisation, talk via Teams to colleagues in Africa and India. The Covid 19 situation is not at all good there and likely to get significantly worse, health care is buckling under the relentless strain and the death toll is rising like a tsunami but…whilst we recall those who have died in the U.K. ,in endless statistical evaluations and graphs? How will we remember those who have succumbed to the 2020 pandemic elsewhere? After all we are (apparently and according to the corporate designed t shirts being worn by local supermarket workers tasked with ensuring social distancing is maintained as we queue for our essentials), ‘all in this together’ and the virus respects not race, nationality or geographical location, unless it seems you happen to be powerful and wealthy. There are no public monuments to those who died as a result of the ravages of the 1918 flu pandemic and that was far, far worse…at least so far! So my question is how do we go about collectively memorialising those who have passed away in recent months, both here and abroad, or will they remain grim statistics, relegated to a brief mention in a medical museum?


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