“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”
~WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19; 11 March 2020
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic, defined as a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region. As the virus spread across the globe, governments began to put in place measures designed to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health of their citizens, and prevent healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.
It is important that this period in history be documented on an international, national, provincial, and local level. Archives of all sizes have begun the work of documenting the impact of this pandemic on their communities.
The Oshawa Museum is documenting the impact of COVID-19 on the Oshawa community through a variety of methods. We are collaborating with Empty Cup Media to produce an oral history project collecting videos and interviews with the citizens of Oshawa as they experience daily life during a pandemic. All official municipal communications concerning COVID-19 in Oshawa are collected, as well as local media reports. An important component of the project will be to collect your thoughts, photographs, diaries and other items that tell the story of how you are coping in these extraordinary times. Museum staff will also be sharing insights on how COVID-19 is impacting the Oshawa Museum, changes to museum operations, the impact on collections and staff and the importance of ensuring that this time in history is documented and preserved for future generations.