“Look at a single flag,” artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg asks visitors to her art installation in Washington, D.C., a field with more than 248,000 white flags rippling in the breeze—one for each person who has died from COVID-19 in America.
“Now conjure up a story. Think of it as a school teacher who just lost her life,” Firstenberg says. She paints a picture of all those who would be stricken by the teacher’s death: her family, students, neighbors, co-workers, and the medical professionals who tried to save her. “Try to hold all that grief—and then look up and multiply,” she says, referring to the tens of thousands of flags before them.
The United States has now lost more than 250,000 people to