QUEENS, NY — A massive new mural in Queens' Flushing Meadows-Corona Park honors the front-line workers who lost their lives to COVID-19 while highlighting the pandemic's disproportionate impact on communities of color.
The 20,000-square-foot mural "Somos La Luz" is the brainchild of the Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada. It portrays Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo, an immigrant doctor who died while working on the frontlines of the pandemic in New York City.
Decoo was among the thousands of immigrant physicians who belong to the SOMOS Community Care network, which provides health care to Medicaid members.
The sprawling mural was commissioned by SOMOS and the nonprofit Make the Road New York, which serves immigrant and working-class communities.
Rodríguez-Gerada painted it in just five days, according to CBS News.
"I wanted to figure out a way if there's a way to create an image that can help us mourn together in a time when the nation feels more divided than ever," he told the news station.
He said on Instagram that he wanted the mural to help draw attention to the societal inequities the pandemic has exacerbated.
In New York City, the Hispanic and Black communities are far likelier than white or Asian New Yorkers to die of the coronavirus, according to health department data.