Suffolk County Historical Society looking to preserve accounts. scenes from the COVID-19 pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic will be written about in history books, and Suffolk historians want to make sure there are firsthand accounts for future generations to learn from.
Heroism in hospital wings, parades celebrating birthdays and long lines of masked customers inside supermarkets -- these are some of the scenes of the coronavirus pandemic playing out on Long Island.
It's all part of living history that Victoria Berger of the Suffolk County Historical Society is trying to collect.
"We're calling it 'Be A Witness To History' and we're inviting the public, Suffolk County residents to submit their memories of their experiences, their personal experiences in light of the pandemic," says Berger.
Berger started the project after trying to find parallels between the devastation caused by the Spanish flu of 1918 and the current pandemic.
Berger says she was disappointed by the scarcity of material available.
"There were references to the Spanish flu, but I couldn't find the impact stories of how the flu impacted the local communities," says Berger. "And as a historian that relativity to the human connection is really what's so important to us."
Berger made a public appeal for residents to share their experiences via email, whether it be coping with losing jobs, caring for loved ones or what they did to pass time.
Berger and library staff are also going out into communities to capture scenes of the pandemic.
They will be archiving the submissions in the museum's library.