Efforts Underway to Formalize COVID-19 Remembrance Day in MA
Friday, March 10, 2023
Family members of those lost to Covid are urging lawmakers to pass legislation to formally recognize the first Monday in March as Covid Remembrance Day.
The bill would make Massachusetts the eleventh state to memorialize those who have died from the virus - as well as recognize those who suffer from long Covid, and the essential workers who have been there through it all.
Jennifer Ritz Sullivan - organizer of the nonprofit Marked by Covid - said it's important to identify the nation's collective trauma.
"It's a simple piece of legislation," said Ritz Sullivan, "but it is so powerful - and history needs to be recorded correctly and our losses need to be remembered."
More than one million Americans have died of Covid, including nearly 24,000 Massachusetts residents.
The federal government has announced it will end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations related to the Covid-19 pandemic on May 11 - but for bereaved activists like Ritz Sullivan, who lost her mother to the virus, the pandemic is not over.
Too many people, she said, have suffered in isolated grief, and a formal recognition of that pain would help in both recovery and prevention.
"We can't prevent what we're unwilling to acknowledge," said Ritz Sullivan, "so we're going to continue to see mass death and disability the more we turn away from this."
The Massachusetts bill to establish a Covid-19 Remembrance Day is based on federal legislation introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Edward Markey, both Massachusetts Democrats.
Efforts are also underway to create a physical monument in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the pandemic's lasting impact.
get more stories like this via email
In cities across the globe, including the Michigan city of Midland, various organizations are commemorating International Day of Peace today…
In rural Alabama, where hurricanes and tornadoes are a constant threat, communities often struggle with damage and limited resources for extended …
A group of West Virginia Democratic delegates is calling for a special session to address West Virginia University's budget shortfall. Del. Evan …
While many Wyomingites of Hispanic descent came from Mexico, there is a lesser-known population from the old Spanish settlements of northern New …
People in rural America are five times as likely to live in so-called "ambulance deserts," areas far from an ambulance service or station, than those …
This week, feminism passes a milestone of sorts as the iconic publication, Ms. Magazine, looks back on its first fifty years. A new book has just …
A set of controversial reforms to Illinois' cash bail system went into effect this week, changing a decades-old system of holding people in jail …
Arizonans could vote on a proposal next year some advocates said would make politics more equitable in the Grand Canyon State. This week, the Make …