[COVID -19 Impact Project]
Official USA Deaths to Date
On May 17, 2022, the USA Crossed the Grim Threshold of over 1,000,000 COVID-19 Deaths
In the five months since then we officially recorded in excess of an additional 66,000 Deaths
Are we still paying attention?
“The number is manageable. We will treat it as a debt that can be forgiven one day. Forgiven and forgotten.”Coco Fusco, Whitney Biennial Reflection on COVID-19 and the unmarked graves of Hart Island, NYC.
Grieved by the ongoing loss of life as a result of this pandemic and inspired by the need for disrupting systems of racial and economic inequality within marginalized communities, we are designing a crowdsourcing platform for the general public to contribute ideas, share personal stories, memorialize loved ones, and examine statistics relative to our collective COVID-19 experience.
We are still in the midst of a global pandemic. We started this project in early 2020 when the grief and fear were palpable, and New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. The silence of a city in lockdown was continually pierced by the sirens… the sirens… day and night, night and day. We have come a long way and the questions and conversations around COVID 19 have evolved and morphed. The evolving data was scarce and incomplete. We developed the COVID-19 Impact Dashboard to try to make sense of a real-time catastrophic event.
Data visualizations and dashboards are a part of our daily lives now. As two ordinary citizens, we are still haunted by this essential concern – how to leverage the data to enable:
How can we begin to mourn and memorialize those who we have lost while in the midst of this pandemic ESPECIALLY those early victims who died alone and scared and without their loved ones to comfort them and to grieve in traditional ways.
How can we assess the pandemic’s ongoing toll on the most impacted families, communities and demographic groups? The pandemic exposed “the color. line” (W. E. B. DuBois) in all aspects of society leaving communities of color particularly in tatters.
How can we advocate for effective and enduring institutions which can repair the breach and create a more just, fair and equitable society? How can we make sure that we don’t too soon forget the inequities laid bare by the pandemic but keep accountable to repairing systemic inequity?
Components of the Project
There are four components of the COVID-19 Impact Project to date. We hope to develop and expand these components and onboard others as you join us in this endeavour.
[COVID-19 Impact Dashboard]
COVID-19 Impact Dashboard captures worldwide statistics on cases and deaths and lets users easily access data for particular dates back to the first reported cases. Trends and regional comparisons are also possible. Learn More
[Memorial Ticker Installation]
The ticker focuses on the theme of “Remembering in the Midst.” We are concerned that not enough attention is being paid to the daily ongoing loss of life due to the pandemic and that this inattention is slowing behaviors (ex vaccines and masking) that will mitigate the persistence of the pandemic and save lives. Learn More
Collaborate: We are seeking multimedia artists (fine arts, poetry, photography, digital arts, videography, music performance) to participate in envisioning and building out a public installation centered around the theme and ticker.
[University Course: Humanizing Data]
This workshop style course encourages students to contribute to the COVID-19 Project or to envision other ways of humanizing COVID-19 data in ways that are culturally and personally relevant. Learn More
Collaborate: Created for New Media graduate students at New York University’s ITP program, we are inviting other higher education institutions to bring this course to their students.
[Community Voices Digital Crowdsourced Memorial]
Every square in our ticker, every data point on our dashboard represents a person who lost their life to COVID-19 and a family left to grieve and pick up the pieces. Inspired by the Poor People’s Campaign Digital March on Washington, we hope to create a crowdsourced digital space to memorialize those who lost their lives – especially those early on in the pandemic and before the wide availability of vaccines. We want to create a space to bring the poor and marginalized especially essential workers and people of color out of the shadows and give their families a place to grieve publicly and collectively. Learn more
Collaborate: We are looking for web developers, UI/UX designers, journalists and members of the general public to collaborate with us on this part of the project.
Goals of the Project
Through crowdsourcing and interdisciplinary collaborations with fellow concerned citizens we will build out a robust space that uses data to support sustained attention on the most vulnerable individuals and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of this project is to provide a “living” platform of crowdsourced information that will enable us to collectively:
- Mourn and memorialize the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died and continue to die from the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure that the grieving loved ones do not suffer under a cloak of invisibility.
- Explore what the data reveals about the disparate impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities and on the families of those who died from COVID-19.
- Push for civic and political solutions to mitigate the suffering caused by the pandemic and to address systemic inequities exposed by the pandemic.
- Our starting point is our COVID-19 Impact Dashboard which includes an open source database that features at-a-glance data that makes it easy to trace the progression of the pandemic.
- We will gather human-centered soft data contributions in the form of personalized memorials and community voices to influence political action.
- By using data to develop a local rendering of the impact of the pandemic over time, we will be able to motivate our fellow citizens to stay engaged until our collective goals are met.
- We believe we can better assess the impact of our project and contribute to lasting change by seeking input from a wide variety of collaborators, including other coders, designers, journalists, activists and data artists.
- The COVID Tracking Project: https://covidtracking.com/ This is a model for how concerned citizens can work together to solve a problem and push for change at the federal and state level. Started early in the pandemic in response to the incomplete and inconsistent COVID-19 reporting data, hundreds of volunteers got together and created a thorough, vetted data set and disaggregated data analysis. There is detailed data and analysis of COVID-19 and Race.
- John’s Hopkins Centers for Civic Impact: This is the source of the data that runs our COVID-19 Impact Dashboard. The visual Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard is maintained by the university’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).
- Our World In Data: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus provides a comprehensive look at COVID-19 statistics through different lenses of disaggregation.
Let’s build something meaningful together.