In their latest effort to raise awareness to their to call for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, UK Campaign group Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK has launched a visual demonstration of the loss that many in the country have experienced.
The ‘National Covid Memorial Wall’ is, as the name suggests, a memorial to all victims of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. Volunteers and mourners have begun hand-drawing almost 150,000 hand-drawn hearts on the wall.
Co-founder of the group Matt Fowler says, this is how they have chosen to remember their lost loved ones. ‘Every heart is hand-drawn and unique – just like the loved ones we mourn.’, he says. “Like the scale of our collective loss, this memorial is going to be enormous.’ He explains ‘it will take hundreds of volunteers working in socially-distanced groups of six many days to complete.’
The drawings have started on a wall opposite Britain’s Houses of Parliament, however it is expected that the mural will eventually stretch much further along the southern bank of the River Thames, covering more than half a kilometre of a two-metre high wall. It will be outside St Thomas’ hospital, which is where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care after he fell seriously ill with Covid-19 last year.
The UK government has promised to build a permanent memorial once the pandemic is over, however the group have organised this temporary memorial as they ‘do not believe it is for those who led this country’s response to Covid-19 to decide how we grieve.’ The mural will be kept updated, with hearts added until the pandemic is over.
The group says that it hopes the UK can share their grief through ‘this overwhelming display of love.’, and that any funds raised through their crowdfunder that go above the costs and upkeep of the memorial will be used by the wider Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign.