We are living through one of the most demanding and disturbing times in modern history. The whole world is grappling with the unsettling realities of the Coronavirus outbreak. Tompkins County is no exception, and our community has completely restructured in the past 2 1/2 weeks with the goal of protecting our most vulnerable, and slowing down the spread of the virus locally so our local health workers can continue to provide the best care to all patients. Many historians have been comparing the COVID-19 outbreak to the global influenza pandemic of 1918. In this instance however we have an opportunity to better document this pivotal time in our community than we've ever had before.
The History Center in Tompkins County and the Cornell University Archives are collaborating in creating ongoing archival collections related to the impacts of COVID-19. Cornell is focusing on the impacts nationally, while we at The History Center are focusing on the issues locally. To this end we need your help!
Please let us know how you are coping with these tremendous challenges. Write about your experiences with this virus and the impacts you are seeing in the local community. Capture pictures of ways community spaces have changed, and how you are practicing social distancing in your own lives.
If you are a local business that has been impacted consider sending us any materials you designed or developed to share this news with your patrons.
Teachers, this can also be an activity for students to pursue in their own way.
In this time of great urgency we are seeing many people step up to provide aid and comfort to those in need, such as our elderly and ailing neighbors. We are all in this together and sharing our stories can lighten our emotional load. Our stories are the first draft of the history our descendants will read when we're gone.
To all of our community we send our best wishes to stay safe and well.
Please send all materials to Donna Eschenbrenner at firstname.lastname@example.org with information about the date, time, and location of images and author attribution of any written pieces. Visit www.thehistorycenter.net to learn more, and follow us at @tompkinshistory on your preferred social media platform for posts about local history.