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Covid-19: Preserving History As it Happens

Posted by Sombra Museum Cultural Centre on September 13, 2020 at 1:55 PM

Hello citizens of St. Clair Township and beyond! We at Sombra Museum hope that everyone is physical distancing and staying safe!


Working in a museum, we tend to be concerned about documenting and preserving the past, but right now we are living through an event that is unlike any we have experienced in the last century, if ever before, so the focus is very much on the present. So often when looking through the archives we get very excited to find the shortest photo caption, post card, note or on rare occasions, a diary recording daily life. Looking for local accounts of the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic and finding very little from the local perspective, we realized that we need YOU to help us to record and preserve memories of this time for future generations. What was going on day-to-day in Sombra? Wilkesport? Port Lambton? Mooretown? Ontario? Canada? Across the world?

Here's what information we hope you will share:


*Shopping conditions and how they changed over time

*Adapting to working at home and any challenges or creative solutions needed

*Financial challenges

*Feelings caused by the outbreak and thoughts about social distancing

*Keeping children occupied during self-isolation

*Keeping adults occupied during self-isolation

*What new or newly rediscovered hobbies or crafts were taken up

*Stories from the front lines – essential services

*Struggles of family members or friends infected with the virus

*Stories of everyday heroes, i.e. people helping neighbours during self-isolation or people accepting inconveniences for the greater good

*How daily life and routines have changed

*For those who lived through the Great Depression, World War II, etc., are there similarities to those experiences?

*How social media and technology is impacting life in social isolation (using technology for the first time, using it differently)


Photos, videos, drawings, collages, anecdotes, a few jotted thoughts, exerts from a pandemic diary - we want it all! Anything you feel comfortable sharing (no explicit material, of course :) )


This could make a fun school activity or family project while you are at home.


Submissions can be sent by email to [email protected] with the subject line "COVID-19 History Snapshot" or by sending us a message via our social channels @SombraMuseum.


Please share this with as many people as possible. We encourage you all to document this time, if not to share publicly, then for yourself and your family to look back and reflect on in years to come.

Thanks and stay safe!