For more than a year now, the COVID-19 pandemic has been ravaging the world. In the UK, a special memorial has been created to acknowledge the victims of COVID-19 and honor those who lost their lives during the pandemic.
In London, England, a large wall stretches nearly 164 feet (50 meters) and faces the River Thames. Now officially known as the National COVID Memorial Wall, it is covered with hand-drawn red hearts.
Currently, over 150,000 red hearts have been drawn on the wall, each one representing a victim of the virus. Many of the hearts also contain personalized messages or descriptions of the people who lost their lives.
Those who have seen the wall in person say that it takes about 10 minutes to walk along the entire structure and take in all of the hearts that have been drawn so far.
The National COVID Memorial Wall was originally coordinated by the group COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK and has been overseen by Matt Fowler. It started with 15,000 hearts drawn on the wall and has grown significantly since then.
In an interview with The Guardian, Fowler, who lost his father to COVID-19 last April, said that when one sees all of the hearts drawn on the wall and considers what they represent, “it’s absolutely frightening.”
Project volunteers plan to continue adding to the wall for as long as the pandemic lasts. According to projections released in February, it’s estimated that there will be at least 30,000 more deaths by June of next year.
The volunteers are raising money for supplies to help them keep their project going. Those who want to contribute can donate to the Crowdfunder campaign here.
For people who are not local but want to see how the wall is progressing, this video also offers high-quality footage of the project.