How do we memorialize the pandemic?

THROUGHOUT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, temporary memorials have paid tribute to those lives claimed by the virus. They serve as quiet places to mourn loved ones and a chance to comprehend the enormity of the pandemic — more than 6 million dead worldwide.

As the United States nears its one millionth COVID-19-related death, artists, architects, and community leaders are calling for a permanent memorial to honor all those touched by COVID and to ensure their pain is never forgotten. Fully realizing the pandemic is far from over, Globe Opinion asked several artists for their vision of what a COVID memorial could look like.

Cortada offered Memory Box, a participatory memorial comprised of hundreds of 8-foot black metal cube monuments imagined in public and private spaces across the American landscape.

He also offered a ritual to bring closure to those who grieve. “The vast majority of people who succumbed to COVID-19 died alone. Their loved ones had no opportunity to say goodbye or be by their side,” said Cortada. “This ritual provides a way for them to say goodbye to those who died.”