“COVID Survivors for Change” Will Connect Survivors to Resources and Empower Survivors to Call for Elected Officials to Take ActionOn October 4, COVID Survivors for Change, Together with Partners, Will Join a Socially-distanced and Livestreamed National COVID-19 Remembrance Event on the National Mall
NEW YORK – Today, coronavirus survivors from across the nation joined together to announce a new non-partisan, grassroots organization to connect survivors to support and resources, as well as hold elected officials accountable for failing to stop the pandemic. The organization, called “COVID Survivors for Change,” will bring together Americans who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, as well as those who have survived the virus and those whose lives have been dramatically altered by the pandemic.
While every developed nation experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, only in America has the pandemic impact been so severe and taken so many lives. In April, the United States experienced similar numbers of cases and deaths to other industrialized nations. But by September, it was reported that the U.S. was home to 4 percent of the world’s population, but 21 percent of coronavirus deaths. Other nations implemented a science-based pandemic strategy and saw COVID cases decline. America failed to act.
“My father didn’t have to die,” said Sabila Khan, a COVID Survivors for Change member in New Jersey, who founded a bereavement group on Facebook following the death of her father, Shafqat Khan, in April. “He spent his lifetime helping others. The physical, mental and emotional toll of COVID-19 will undoubtedly be felt long after this is over. If we’d trusted science and prioritized protecting lives, my dad would still be here, as would thousands of others. We have to use our voices to demand better from our leaders and do everything in our power to stop this pandemic and prevent future ones, too.”
Families who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 are dealing with their grief amid an unprecedented time of fear and isolation. Many need resources and trauma-informed support services to help them through it. Through COVID Survivors for Change, families will have access to weekly grief and support sessions, as well as opportunities to connect with other survivors who know their pain. On the organization’s new website, survivors can share their stories and join the movement to help put an end to this preventable crisis.
“2020 may very well go down in history as the most traumatic year in modern American history,” said Chris Kocher, executive director of COVID Survivors for Change. “In March and April, I watched with horror as ambulances rushed by my window in Queens, as my wife and I held our newborn close and tried to explain to our first grader what was happening. The grief that so many New Yorkers felt this spring can’t compare to the loss that hundreds of thousands of families now know intimately because our leaders failed to contain the pandemic. Families are reeling in isolation, and deserve our support in processing their grief and channelling their heartbreak into action. Our leaders must be held accountable for the pain and suffering they’ve allowed to continue.”
On October 4, COVID Survivors for Change will join with partner organizations to participate in a socially-distanced and livestreamed National COVID-19 Remembrance event on the National Mall. The event will amplify the voices of COVID survivors, acknowledge the country’s collective loss, and call for a national plan for recovery.
As part of COVID Survivors for Change, Americans will mobilize to make sure that communities have the funding, resources and leadership in place to address future public health emergencies. They’ll also find community and healing in meeting other people whose lives have been forever changed by the pandemic. For more information, please visit: covidsurvivorsforchange.org.
About COVID Survivors for Change
COVID Survivors for Change is a national, non-partisan movement bringing together Americans who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, as well as those who have survived the virus and those whose lives have been dramatically altered by the pandemic. As part of COVID Survivors for Change, Americans are mobilizing to make sure that communities have the funding, resources and leadership in place to address future public health emergencies. Survivors will also find community and healing in meeting other people whose lives have been forever changed by the pandemic. For more information, please visit: covidsurvivorsforchange.org.