PEORIA, AZ — An online interactive map aims to put faces to the numbers of people we’ve lost to COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Jeremiah Lindemann created it as a virtual supplement to a temporary art exhibit by Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg that was displayed near the National Monument in Washington D.C. in the fall.
“The charts and graphs that you see on the news every day - it’s easy to get lost in those,” said Lindemann. “There’s real stories and people behind this data that we’re almost becoming numb to.”
The map features hundreds of lost loved ones across the world, a quick memo about them, along with a picture and when they passed away from COVID-19.
Dozens of people from Arizona alone have submitted their family and friends who have died, including Jason Betyou, who lost his mom, Helen. She had lived in Peoria but passed away from COVID-19 in August 2020.
“She’s still with me. I think about her every day. I listen to voicemails,” Betyou told ABC15. “I try to use this platform as a measure to say, like hey, don’t lose your mom, don’t lose your grandma, don’t lose someone who’s important to you, and do the right thing to protect yourself.”
Betyou said his mom didn’t have a chance to experience the treatments and preventive measures that have come out this year that might have saved her life.
“Get vaccinated. I wish she had an opportunity to do so,” he said. “I’d wear a mask every day for the rest of my life if I had a chance to talk to her again.”
Lindemann said they are still accepting submissions to the map for the next few weeks.
If you are interested in submitting someone you’ve lost to COVID-19, click here.