Why is it important to archive the pandemic?
Archives have to be made. While conducting research, historians have to normally rely on fragmented information. More importantly, throughout history it has been the more privileged strata of society that have been able to produce written accounts. This has resulted in a situation in which historians struggle to find sources that allow them to tell the history ‘from below’. For instance, it has been very difficult for historians to reconstruct how the Bubonic Plague or the various flu pandemics across history were experienced by people. We lack a variety of historical sources that expose the different struggles people were facing.
The Life in Quarantine Project Team wants to rally for and create an archive that reflects the experiences of people from all walks of life. We are dedicated to demonstrating how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of people while paying close attention to the differences and similarities in experiences. We are able to do that much easier today than in the past given that we live in a world that has been shaped and marked by digital interactions.
We would like to stress that we want all voices to be heard. Therefore, make your voice heard! This will help people invested in coming up with strategies for future pandemics to understand people’s needs and fears. It will also help future historians to write a historical narrative that takes into account the plethora of experiences that existed.