Share Your COVID-19 Pandemic Stories with WSU

OGDEN, Utah – How can you help a future researcher understand the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects it had on Northern Utah? Fill out a short and simple questionnaire about your experiences. 

Ed Noel and his family sitting in their driveway in Draper.
Ed had a tape measure on his belt so he could keep everyone
six feet away from him. courtesy of Karen Noel

Weber State University Archives and Special Collections are gathering stories, photos and other mementos from WSU students, faculty and staff, as well as community members throughout Weber, Davis and Morgan counties, to document events surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and its overall impact. 

For example, a student from South Ogden told Archives about how COVID has “changed completely” her daily routine, for example, limiting visits to elderly family members to try to keep them safe. 

“I used to take my toddler and baby to visit my grandparents’ house almost every day, but now we have to schedule a time to wave at them from the car window when we visit, and we can’t hug and kiss them anymore,” she wrote. “It breaks my heart to not be able to show my grandparents how much they are loved and appreciated through affection.”

WSU Archives coordinator Kandice Harris created the COVID-19 questionnaire using Google Forms to make submissions of stories and digital items, like videos or audio recordings, easier. The form can be completed anonymously, though age and location are required. Archives seeks answers to questions such as, “When did you first learn about COVID-19?” and “How has your daily routine changed since COVID-19 precautions have been in place?”

A staff member who lives in Washington Terrace said she’s noticed her neighbors talking to each other more and that people come out on their porches to play music in the evenings. Another person sent in photos of a movie theater they made in their home. 

"Can’t go to AMC theater, well that’s okay!
We made our own theater!
Best customer service I have ever had!"
courtesy of Clarissa Avaldez

“We don’t have that much information about what Weber was like during the 1918 pandemic other than a couple of blurbs,” Harris said. “In the future, we want to make sure we have enough information for researchers, so people know what it was like.” 

A Clinton woman took special note of the generosity of her fellow citizens in her entry: “People tipping the local server above and beyond because they understand the need they have. People making masks and GIVING them away. People donating supplies to the medical field, childcare centers and other essential businesses."

Since the project launched in April, Archives has received close to 100 responses, with nearly half coming from WSU students. Harris said they also hope to hear from alumni scattered across the country and world because their experiences will be vastly different than those in Utah. 

“Just being able to have the whole picture from so many different aspects will give people a better understanding of what it was like,” Harris said. “Everybody’s perspective is different. Someone who’s a foreign exchange student will have a different experience than somebody who’s working from home.”

Archives plans to collect COVID-19 stories and media through at least the end of 2020. Once finished, Harris said they will create a digital exhibit, so researchers can view the progression of events. A future physical exhibition may also be possible.

You can fill out the COVID-19 archives questionnaire and submit photos or video here.

Physical donations can also be sent to Archives at 3921 Central Campus Dr., Dept. 2901, Ogden, UT 84408-2901.

For photos, visit the following links:

photos.smugmug.com/Press-Release-Photos/2020-photos/June-2020/i-gDCBhJQ/0/ec29d11f/X2/20200329_140420%20-%20Karen%20Galli%20Noel-X2.jpg

photos.smugmug.com/Press-Release-Photos/2020-photos/June-2020/i-v7CfdDc/0/1075d3af/X2/2B8C41D8-2119-4ADA-A505-74C0B7F683DB%20-%20Clarissa%20McEuen-X2.jpg

photos.smugmug.com/Press-Release-Photos/2020-photos/June-2020/i-vnCDF9Z/0/a0097330/X2/3DA067F7-8609-4649-B043-E7C1A5E9B8B3%20-%20Jessica%20B-X2.jpg

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:

Kandice Harris, WSU Archives coordinator
801-626-6388 • kandiceharris@weber.edu

Author:

Jessica Kokesh, social media editor
801-626-7948 • jessicakokesh@weber.edu