Wash Your Hands

“Wash Your Hands” by Dean Moynihan & Leafcuts.

“On the 11th of March 2020 a global pandemic was declared. This is a live visualisation of the death toll from COVID-19. Each grave stone represents an actual life lost.”

The coronavirus outbreak is one of the biggest global crises in the last seven decades. Roundabout 280.000 people are infected right now, over 100.000 were sick thanks to the virus and recovered, while nearly 17.500 others died; this link gives a short, precise overview of the official numbers. The pandemic turned all our lifes around and continues to do so. It is a time of uncertainity, of confusion and yes, of grief and mourning. “Wash Your Hands” is an overwhelming symbol for this.

While it is easy to watch the news daily and to just hear the newest death count on the fly, “Wash Your Hands” serves as a memorial for all the deceased. For every corpse, this serious game generates a tombstone, based on live data. Not only can you wander through this global cemetery, but you are also free to pick up a rose and lay it down to a grave to show your condolence. You might also encounter some more dark ‘features’ like seeing the gravediggers preparing a new final resting place, when the data gets updated at your stay.

“Wash Your Hands” shows us the harsh reality and invokes an oppressive experience, thanks only to the actual death numbers, represented by the headstones and crosses. But on the other side I am very glad that it exists, as the rising numbers of flowers are also a symbol. A symbol of hope, that people care about each other. Of my hope that the majority of mankind will act in a thoughtful, empathic manner. Of my hope that we will see better times again, together, without forgetting the ones we already lost. A beautiful experience.