San Diego County using Día de los Muertos to honor COVID-19 victims

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The County of San Diego has found a unique way to honor almost 900 people who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and his wife, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, have organized a memorial to coincide with Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on Nov. 1 at the County Administration Center.

They are inviting San Diegans who lost a family member or friend to COVID-19 to submit the name of their loved ones along with a picture so it can be included on the Altar de Muertos, which are traditionally decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers, photos of those who passed away and other items of remembrance.

Día De Los Muertos is a Meso-American tradition observed annually from Nov. 1-2 to honor those who have passed away.

It is customary to gather at gravesites with food and music to “reunite” with loved ones who have departed.

“The COVID-19 Altar de Muertos is our way of remembering those we have lost to this horrible virus,” said Fletcher, co-chair of the county’s COVID-19 Subcommittee. “It provides an opportunity to reflect on the effect COVID-19 has had on all communities, but we should be paying special attention to the disproportionate impact it has made on Black, Brown and other communities of color. Every death because of COVID counts. Every life lost to COVID matters. It is now time to rededicate ourselves to protecting one another by taking the actions needed to slow the spread.”

The Alta de Muertos will remain up through Nov. 2.

People are encouraged to send photos of loved ones, victims of COVID-19, along with a few lines to SupervisorNathanFletcher.com/CovidAltar. The materials will be added to the memorial.

Fletcher’s office said others, from both sides of the border, not just San Diego County residents, are welcome to participate.

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