The Boone County History & Culture Center is asking community members to share their perspective during this time through donating their own written or digital journal for a "Remembering Coronavirus" project.

"We just feel like it's very important for future generations to have some firsthand accounts of what this has been like for people throughout the community," said Chris Campbell, executive director of the Boone County History & Culture Center.

Journals can include daily activities, letters to family, poems, emails, videos or photographs, according to a news release.

"We're definitely interested in photography," Campbell said. "Photography that documents, you know, the really strange visuals in our community: streets completely deserted, empty music halls, empty shelves at the grocery store. All of those will be important, too."

There is also a template for a child's diary available on the webpage as well as one-time questionnaires for people of all ages, according to the release.

"Of course, we understand that there will be a lot of media accounts that will still be available 50 and 100 years from now we hope," Campbell said, "but that's not the same thing as first-person narratives from ordinary people."

The COVID-19 pandemic comes as Boone County celebrates its bicentennial this year. 

The pandemic has arrived just over 100 years after the 1918-19 influenza pandemic that killed 145 Boone Countians, according to Campbell.

"There's a few newspaper accounts of that, and we have some death records that tell us who and when, but we hardly have anything in the way of understanding what the people in Boone County, how they were dealing with that back then," Campbell said. "So, we want to make sure that mistake's not made again for the future."

While the main focus is collecting records for preservation, "there will be an opportunity in the future for the submissions to be part of a curated exhibit," Campbell said. 

Those wishing to participate can go to boonehistory.org/remembering-the-coronavirus/.

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • Public Life reporter, spring 2020 Studying investigative journalism and political science Reach me at lk63f@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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