Telling your COVID story
A message from the university archivistApril 19, 2021 - Lisa Speer
72 weeks. 504 days. 12,096 hours. The amount of time since COVID-19 quickly and dramatically changed life at Ouachita in the spring semester of 2021. We all have very clear memories of the week ending March 13.
For some of you, those memories are of anxiously saying goodbye to roommates and friends as you embarked on “an extended spring break,” conscious of the fact that you might not be returning to campus at all in the spring. Faculty and staff members scrambled to transfer classes and support services to an online environment to make the transition for students as seamless as possible. We have experienced a lot over the last 13 months, as individuals and as a community.
These last two semesters we have been incredibly blessed to be able to be on campus together, even though so many of our ways of interacting remained changed. New words seem to have permanently entered our lexicon: social distancing, quarantining, masks, Zoom. Some of you have experienced COVID-19 firsthand while others have lost loved ones to the virus. In so many ways, this global pandemic has touched us all.
As the semester winds to a close at Ouachita, I ask for your help in documenting COVID-19 at Ouachita. This project is part of a university-wide commemoration. Through the Chronicling Covid-19 at Ouachita website you can share your stories, photographs, videos, social media posts and other documents to tell YOUR story of the pandemic.
These stories will be collected and permanently housed in Riley-Hickingbotham Library’s Archives and Special Collections so generations of future Ouachitonians can understand what life was like during the COVID-19 pandemic. All members of the Ouachita community are invited and encouraged to contribute to the site.
If you’d like to write a new reflection for your submission, here are some questions you might consider in thinking about how your life has been affected by the many changes of the last year:
- What have you learned about yourself and others during the pandemic?
- What have you done or discovered to be most helpful to your ability to manage stress during the pandemic?
- How has the pandemic helped you to grow spiritually?
- How has your faith sustained you during the challenges of the last year?
Whatever your experiences and however you choose to reflect on the events of the last year, your observations and memories will play a vital role in documenting how the pandemic affected Ouachita in 2020-2021. Thank you for your willingness to share your stories with Ouachita and future generations of Tigers!
By Dr. Lisa K. Speer, professor and university archivist
Lead photo by Hannah Smith