Schuylkill County Historical Society is looking for your story about coronavirus as it hopes to log the history of this global pandemic for future Schuylkill Countians.
“These are changes that we have not seen since 1918,” Diana Prosymchak, executive director, and James Haluska Jr., assistant director of the society, wrote in an open letter to county residents, referring to the Spanish Flu that year. “It is in these times, however, that we need to remember that we are all historians. History is no longer just written by great men or the victors or even newspapers. Everyday people and their experiences fill out the historical record of events.”
The society, in fact, struggled to gather information and photographs for an exhibit two years ago detailing the 1918 outbreak, Prosymchak said.
The society predicts future generations will want to know how county residents went about their everyday lives during these trying times.
“So, chronicle the events that you are living through this current crisis,” they wrote. “You can do this through a few methods: journals or blogs, taking pictures, video what you see. Each of these methods tell the story of this pandemic in their own unique way.”
They offered these prompts:
- How had your life changed compared to yesterday? Last week? Last month?
- What challenges are you facing during the pandemic?
- How has your daily schedule changed and in what ways?
- How have relationships with family, friends and strangers changed since the start of the pandemic?
- How have your views/beliefs changed? This could be, but not limited to, social, religious or political.
- What are you enjoying (if anything) about this time?
- What are your hopes for the future?
“No, you do not have to hand over your records to the Schuylkill County Historical Society when this is all over, although if you wanted to, we would not mind,” Prosymchak and Haluska wrote. “However, once you are gone, your records may be found by future generations of historians who study the early 21st Century with the goal of how this situation affected the everyday person. … You can help paint the picture beyond the president or the governor or the news. You all are a vital link in the historical record. Leave your mark.”