What is the 2020 Coronavirus History Project?

What is the 2020 Coronavirus History Project?
The 2020 Coronavirus History Project was created by John Dye, a Library Aide employed at the New Hartford Public Library.
What’s your novel coronavirus story?
How have you, members of your family, friends and co-workers coped with mandatory social distancing? Are you working, or studying, from home? Are you a health care professional or public safety officer serving on the front lines of this war where the home front and the battle lines have merged into one?
Years from now, our individual stories will be knit together into the larger narrative of how our community, our nation and the world met the Covid-19 challenge. And before too many of those details slip from our memories it’s important we record our stories now for generations to come.
That’s why the New Hartford Public Library is asking you to join in our 2020 Coronavirus History Project. Whether you scribble into a diary, pound a keyboard or punch a keypad, enlist your friends and family members to join us in recording this journal of a pandemic year.
Write about or draw what’s important to you — what makes you laugh, sad or angry. Record the videos and store those social media messages you’re sharing with family and friends so they don’t fade into the electronic ether. Save those online school lessons and emails from grandparents.
Share the stories and experiences of our time. They’ll be full of rich detail, sorrow and humor. And they’ll be read, viewed, listened to and cherished for generations to come.
This can take many forms, so do what’s comfortable to you. Perhaps it’s a collection of short essays on your changing feelings as this pandemic and efforts to combat it continue. Maybe it’s a series of short daily entries recording the anthropological details of everyday life from family meal menus to what programs and movies you watched on TV or tablet. Get the kids involved by asking them to draw pictures, keep their own diaries, share a joke or two or send letters (save a copy) to faraway grandparents hungry to hear from their loved ones. They’ll make great family histories.
In the days ahead, we’ll pass along tips for effective journal entries and storytelling. Later on, if you’re willing to share, we’ll work to compile the best of those stories — from the funny to the sad. We’ll honor your confidentiality, removing names and email addresses if you wish, before we share your work. If you’d rather keep these memories private they’ll still be great entries in the family history album.
If you’d like to share your initial thoughts on how you and our community are coping with the pandemic, send them to: newhartford@midyork.orgcoping We’ll post the best of them on our web site to get the creative juices flowing.
Tell us your story. It’s worth sharing.
New Hartford resident John Dye is a retired journalist whose career spanned five states in the Northeast and Midwest, including serving as editor of the Utica Observer-Dispatch. He joined the New Hartford Public Library as an aide in October of 2019.