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The way we express grief for strangers is changing

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The way we express grief for strangers is changing

Image: Ms Tech | Getty. Article Tanya Basu.

Online memorials are just one of the ways people are trying to comprehend the scale of our loss during the pandemic.

In late March, Claire Rezba heard about the tragic death of Diedre Wilkes. Wilkes, a 42-year-old mammogram technician, had died alone of covid-19 in her home, her four-year-old child near her body.

Rezba, a physician based in Richmond, Virginia, was shaken. “That story resonated with me,” she says. “She was about my age.” Wilkes’s death also heightened Rezba’s anxiety and her fears of bringing the coronavirus home to her family.

Her response took the form of a memorial project. Whenever she could find a minute, Rezba searched for notices of health-care workers who had passed away. By mid-April, she had collected 150, which she started posting as tweet-length obits to her personal Twitter account. The list, US HCWs Lost to Covid19, “became a mission,” Rezba says—and continues to grow daily. […]

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