The pandemic has broken the hearts of many families. Deaths of loved ones are not given the proper honour they deserve due to the social fear of contracting the virus in the event of any gathering. Now, a woman has made it her mission to honour those who have died of COVID-19 so that they will be more than mere statistics.

Jessica Murray, feels heartbroken at the thought that there are so many people who have died of Covid-19 in the St. Louis area. What made it worse was they are being remembered as a "number" instead of the value of their lives.

Coming to a decision to do something about it, Murray set up a website called in order to honour those who have died because of the pandemic. She painstakingly gathered information from obituaries, those found online, as well as other news stories about the victims. The site, along with the Facebook page that she set up, served as a memorial that gave people the chance to see the lives that were lived by the victims, as well as the battle that they waged in fighting the dreaded disease.

At night, Murray would work for a couple of hours. In the event that she gets overwhelmed, she gets assistance from her family, Arthur, Boo, and Misha.

The region of St. Louis was deemed as a hotspot, considering that almost half of the deaths in Missouri came from St. Louis and its surrounding counties. A hundred more died from across Mississippi River, Illinois.

"I just thought that behind each of these numbers was somebody's grandma or somebody's sister or somebody's mom," said Murray, speaking to ABC News.

One of the notable victims, whom Murray honoured on her website was 94-year-old Mary Catherine Keene who was a nursing home resident and who passed away in May. She was an airplane riveter during World War II and was proud of being able to work in pants as a woman during her time.

Another victim whom Murray honoured was 74-year-old Edward Rose who was a rheumatologist. He died in September and had loved hosting parties and also having noisy children playing around.

She also honoured couples who died of Covid-19 successively. One couple was Richard and Grace Maskell. They were married for 72 years and they died nine days apart.

One of the saddest stories was that of 60-year-old Matthew Joseph Leake. He dressed as Santa for the kids in his area every year during Christmas. For three decades, he has been their beloved Santa. Sadly, he was fighting cancer when he caught coronavirus and he was alone at the hospital when he died.

For Murray, hearing the feedback of the relatives of those who died is enough to keep her going. The relatives of the deceased say that the memorials made by Murray means so much to them.

Covid memorial for victims. Photo: Pixabay