The original purpose of the Regina Cemetery Tours was to raise money for a memorial for the Regina victims of the 1918-1920 Spanish Influenza. This was successful, and a monument was erected in the cemetery in December of 2017. After the monument was created, the tours came to an end, and because of that, Regina Cemetery Tours – The Game was created.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic asks a similar question: if we memorialized the victims of a past pandemic, should we memorialize the victims of the current one? The biggest challenge is that while the COVID-19 pandemic is not as deadly as the Spanish Influenza, it is also not yet over. Vaccine hesitancy and viral mutations are causing the virus to spread faster, infect sooner and kill more people. It would be premature to memorialize the dead while also expecting more to die, but it is also demoralizing to not acknowledge the loss of life.
As of October 7, 2021, COVID-19 has taken the lives of 4.8 – 18.5 million people worldwide, becoming the sixth deadliest pandemic in human history. Of the other five deadliest pandemics, three are bubonic plague related (two of which lasted over a century), one is the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic and the last is the Spanish Influenza.
But 4.8 million – 18.5 million is too large of a number for us to comprehend. Because of that, the loss of life makes people numb. As we break down the numbers smaller, they become more digestible, and also more horrifying. For example, 26,000 Canadians have died from COVID-19. That number is easier to understand, although not by much. If that were dollars, you could buy a new model vehicle at your local dealership with that much money.
Going even smaller, 737 (the number of Saskatchewan citizens that have died) is even more digestible. However, that is still a big number. If you were to count to 737, with each number taking you one second to say, it would still take you 12 minutes.
But the number of Regina citizens that have died is even more digestible. As of October 7, 2021, 169 Regina citizens have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. That number of deaths is equivalent to the number of fingers you have on both hands, times seventeen. Just take a moment to take your hands, make a fist, relax and do that seventeen times.
To memorialize these 169 victims, we have decided to mark the graves of all of them in Regina Cemetery Tours – The Game. As the number of Regina victims increases, we shall add more graves to mark their lives. Here are the ones we have already marked.
It’s upsetting to so many graves marked, especially when each person is a member of our community.
However, remembering these people is important, not just for them, but for us too. It’s through that remembrance that we become more humble and try to make the best of what connections we have left. It also helps us cope with the insurmountable pressure and loss we have all had in this past year and a half. We are the lucky ones who survived, and although it would be a miracle that no more graves get marked in the game, we all know that is not the case.
Because deaths happen so frequently, we will be updating the game on a monthly basis, adding more marked graves to match the deaths of COVID-19 victims in the Regina area.
If you’d like to visit these graves in the game, please play our game and walk to the top right corner of the map. You should start to see the flowers as you make your way to the corner.
Thank you for all your support, and please stay safe.