One year ago, with the help of some dear friends, I uploaded my dedication to unsung heroes, specifically in the healthcare industry, combating the coronavirus — "Sing for the Unsung." It was a passion project that combined my skills as a graphic recorder and visual storytelling practitioner along with my love for the craft of songwriting.
At the time, I felt compelled to make the video because of the projections calculating the number of affected people and the toll it would take on those working to help the afflicted. You did not have to be a student of history to realize that if we did not coalesce on this global threat early, then it would have dire ramifications for our way of life and infect millions of people.
So I got to work (if you want to learn more about how I got to work, then check out this segment from my introductory keynote address from the International Visual Practitioners (IFVP) 25th Anniversary remote conference). I was motivated because I believed that if everyone did their part, however big or not so big, then we could help lessen the impact of the crisis — and maybe we could even save some lives.
It's now been a year since "Sing for the Unsung" dropped. And from the date of its premier, May 4, 2020 to today, May 4, 2021, coronavirus deaths in America increased from 76,916 to 571,302 and counting. Worldwide the numbers are even more staggering: from 276,938 to about 3.2 million deaths.
As much of the world reopens I hope we never forget the work of those who are helping us to return to something akin to "normalcy." And I also hope we always remember those we lost during this pandemic. When I began working on "Sing for the Unsung" I had no idea how close to home the pandemic would strike my family. My family lost a piece of its heart.
My nephew, Willie, was a good man. A kind hearted soul who always genuine, and someone who just made people smile. The kind of person that doesn't usually get celebrated enough, especially when much of the odds seemed stacked against him as a young man, but he strived and persevered and always looked for the good in people. In that way too, he was also one of the unsung.
I know I'm supposed to end these things with a marketing and promotion CTA ("call to action"). But the only call to action I have for you is that I ask that you get yourself vaccinated, continue to think of others and respect the work of the unsung, even when these days are behind us, and as always be kind. Oh and once you are vaccinated, celebrate with some people you love.