In May, 2020, we were reaching the grim milestone of a 100,000 people dead in this country. For the Drive-by-Art exhibition, three traffic signs were positioned from the area of the UCLA hospital to the Veteran’s home and the beach — that is about seven miles which would be 18,480 dead bodies.
Today, 02/22/2021, we marked 500,000. These numbers are shocking and impossible for us to even absorb. In fact, we tend to close down when we hear these statistics.
Every single person dying unexpectedly is a tragedy. We do however daily think and consider our movement in space and time based on the status roads / traffic and miles to our destinations. If we calculate the number of bodies that died, using the width of a burial casket, shoulder to shoulder in a mass grave, one mile would be equivalent to 2640 bodies or almost 40 miles across the USA.
As the Crow Flies is an expression used to show a straight line from point A to B. The crow is often a symbol of bad luck and death but also may be considered as a sign of transformation and many cultures consider them keepers of the sacred laws that go beyond linear one-dimensional thinking. These street signs are meant to make us more aware of all those who unnecessarily died and to pay attention, observe and listen. Imagine that every mile you drive is equal to 2640 bodies shoulder to shoulder.
The street signs were taken down by the city and, like everything else, we moved online. The counter is programmed by John Brumley -- connected to the live database of the John Hopkins university.