It doesn't matter what a person's job is, or where they were when they first heard about COVID-19. Everyone has a story to share about the pandemic, and the East Tennessee Historical Society wants to help document them.
They are collecting people's stories and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic to chronicle how life changed in the past year and how East Tennessee came together to support each other.
They have experience chronicling pandemics. The East Tennessee Historical Society houses primary and secondary sources that provide accounts of pandemics in the past, such as the spread of influenza in 1918. Those sources helped historians and leaders understand the present in more meaningful ways, officials said.
Now, people can impact history and ensure their stories are heard by future generations. Stories can be shared online, by answering a few questions like, "How have COVID-19 and Safer-at-home guidelines impacted your family life?" or "What physical objects from this event should be preserved?"
Participants can also upload artwork, photographs or other recordings that show people's impressions of the COVID-19 pandemic. If participants kept a journal or diary during the pandemic, they can also choose to donate it to the East Tennessee History Center.
Stories will be preserved at the center, which operates with the Knox County Public Library and the East Tennessee Historical Society.