Young leaders of the San Joaquin County Together Cohort are holding a candlelight vigil on July 6 at 7 p.m. at MLK Plaza, inviting the community to join them and honor the lives lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the ban on communal funerals was county-wide, anyone who has lost a loved one during the pandemic is welcome to participate,” read a statement they shared.
“We all need closure,” the statement continued. âWe have all struggled during this pandemic and all have friends, family or both who suffered or died during the pandemic. ”
During a call with The Record, Eden Salcedo, 19, and Nicholas Hatten, 47, from San Joaquin Together County, provided more details about the event and how the community can participate.
Why the vigil? What to expect on July 6?
The purpose of the vigil is “to come together as a community, of course, and to reserve a space for us to mourn for all those we lost during the pandemic, even if they did not live in the county,” said Salcedo.
âEven though we haven’t experienced death, some of us may have experienced the COVID disease itself or we know someone who has,â added Salcedo.
âAlso, it’s important to note that COVID has not only taken away people we knew in life, but alsoâ¦
Hatten said elected officials have been invited and community leaders are planning to make statements.
Organizers have purchased 1,500 lanterns that will be on display to commemorate all 1,444 people reported to have died from COVID-19 in San Joaquin County, those who died from other causes during the pandemic and these latter county lines.
If family and friends wish, a photo of a deceased loved one can be displayed alongside a lantern, Hatten added.
Additionally, for those who want to attend and cannot do so, the vigil will be streamed live online. Organizers said more information and access to the feed can be found at https://howsanjoaquinworks.com/covid/.
âWe will honor all who sadly passed away,â Hatten said. “These losses didn’t have to happen, and unfortunately they did, so we want to make sure they’re honored.”
Photo memorial: how to submit an image
In addition to the vigil in person next Tuesday, the group is also hosting a visual memorial with photos of the lost to share on social media and during the vigil (if those submitting pictures wish their loved one’s photo to be also displayed).
To submit a photo, you can either design your own image, create a commemorative photo with the application suggested by the organizer or do it via Facebook. Details with the processes for either option, links to apps and photo submission steps are available at https://howsanjoaquinworks.com/covid/.
âWith the campaign on social media, we want to raise awareness of the impact of COVID-19 on usâ in the county, nationally and internationally, said Salcedo. “Especially with the new delta variant which has appeared in the last couple of months.”
âWe just want to educate our community members and our neighbors to know just because people tell us we’re going to live in a post-COVID world, or that we could go out safely without masks, that doesn’t. means COVID-19 is gone, âSalcedo said.
The organizers are asking and inviting family members of those who died from other causes to attend the event, “because the pandemic has not allowed others to have funerals as well, so we want make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate, âHatten added.
The whole community is invited to attend and participate. âIf there is anyone who wants to honor those who have died in their cultural way, we ask everyone to join us and participate,â Hatten said.
Record-breaking journalist Laura Diaz covers social justice and societal issues. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @laurasdiaz_. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.