Each evening, it is the same ritual : Gertrude Schop, a German 60 years of age, lit thousands of candles for the victims of the pandemic coronavirus, an initiative that she wants to continue until ” that a vaccine will be found.”
Arranged in the form of a cross, these candles are designed to pay tribute to the people died in the aftermath of the COVID-19. And each of it represents one of the some 8,000 deaths recorded in the country since march.
“I wanted the figures of the Robert-Koch-institut (the institute of epidemiological monitoring German that publishes daily data on the victims, editor’s note) become visible,” says the devout catholic, the inhabitants of the small German town of Zella-Mehlis, in the region of Thuringia.
The “numbers on a sheet of paper, a statistic, it does not reach the heart as this installation, which grows day by day,” she adds.
Launched in early march, the project was initially to install a white candle for each infected person, in addition to red candles laid in tribute to the dead.
But quickly, in the face of the explosion in the number of cases, Germany with more than 176 000 people infected since the beginning of the pandemic, she has “abandoned” the plan.
For Gertrude Schop, these candles are meant to feed into the memory of the disappeared, while the pandemic brand, and everyday life resumes its course in Germany.
The country, the less affected in term of deaths compared to its european neighbours, was released in early may its containment measures.
But, if the pandemic is slowing down, no question for Gertrude Schop to stop adding daily candles to its installation.
Determined, the sexagenarian will continue its work until a vaccine is found and will save lives, ” she said.