On my daily virtual visit to a World Heritage Site, I often have a look at a local museum website. I have almost stopped noticing the inevitable banner spread across the landing page, all carrying a similar message in different languages: sorry but we are closed for public health reasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A recent UNESCO and International Council of Museums report confirms that nearly 90% (more than 85,000 institutions) have closed their doors during the crisis. They estimate that nearly 13% of museums around the world may never reopen.

Take a little time to reflect on the global fight against Covid-19. As of today, the total number of confirmed cases in the 57 countries visited is 1,234,004 (UN World Health Organisation). All but 2 of these countries have reported cases, and all but 6 at least 1 death. 79,985 people are known to have died in these countries ‘visited’ to date, although even a brief review of the statistics suggests real numbers are distorted due to differential access to testing. Globally more than 5.6 million cases have been reported worldwide, with 354,000 deaths.

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