At the time of this blog, more than 220,000 Americans have died of coronavirus. On Sunday, October 4, a chilling visual symbol of those deaths spread out on the grassy Ellipse near the White House. Twenty thousand empty chairs, each one memorializing ten victims of the disease, stood in vast ranks, as if waiting for a terrible ghost audience.
The group responsible for creating the memorial was Covid Survivors for Change, composed of family members of both victims and survivors of COVID. “These are our grandparents, our parents, our siblings, children, coworkers, and neighbors,” the event’s website states. “We are all at risk. No one is immune from this pandemic. This crisis is not over.”

Trebbe Johnson
Trebbe JohnsonFounder
Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. Her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty, will be published in Fall 2018 by North Atlantic Books. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

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