Documenting the Pandemic:
MRU Community Experiences of Life During COVID-19
Few aspects of daily life remain untouched by the pandemic; work, study, leisure, family, and communities have all been affected. This project aims to tell the COVID-19 stories of the MRU community by collecting experiences and artifacts of life from these uncertain times, and preserving them for the historical record.
Your contributions can help researchers of the future - and perhaps, ourselves - to understand what it meant to live, work and study during the outbreak. So please tell us your stories, share your thoughts, document what you have seen and done, and record how the world around you has responded to the pandemic. Help us document and preserve this historical moment.
Who can contribute?
We welcome contributions from MRU students, employees, alumni and neighbours.
What can you contribute?
We invite donations of digital objects that relate to the local impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that reflect your personal, professional, or academic experiences. Contributions may take the form of:
Photographs & images
Diaries, journals, blog posts, essays
Video and audio recordings: Oral histories, commentaries, interviews, songs
Creative works: Artwork, signs, poetry, creative writing
Due to social distancing protocols, we can only accept digital contributions at the moment. If you have physical items to contribute (for example, a handwritten journal), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unsure of how you might participate? Each of us has many stories to tell of what we have experienced and observed during the pandemic. Some ideas to consider for sharing your story:
- Capture your experiences of home-working, home-learning, or home-schooling.
- Document your daily life during the pandemic through words or photos. How have you passed the time? What have you observed in your neighbourhood? How has your family been affected by the virus?
- Record personal responses to news reports or major events.
- Share reflections of your transition from in-person to on-line learning or teaching.
- Reflect on your concerns or hopes relating to the pandemic.
What will happen to your contribution?
Items that are accepted will be preserved in the Archives and Special Collections as part of the MRU Community COVID-19 Collection, and will be made publicly accessible online.
Mount Royal University takes the law and your right to privacy seriously. If you believe that the Collection contains works that infringe your copyright, privacy or other rights, please contact us at email@example.com.
May 27, 2020
I am worried my mom will forget my name before the pandemic ends and we can be together again. Or, worse, that her dementia will advance to the point that she will need to be admitted to a care home before it’s safe to do so. I am concerned about the effects of pandemic isolation and loneliness on both my elderly parents. I am worried that by the time my kid can hug Grandma again, and remind how much she is loved, Grandma won’t know who she is anymore. It is hard to rank my very long list of worries for the planet and for my family, but these are the ones that are weighing most heavily on me right now.
The pandemic has affected my social life drastically. I used to love going out and hanging out with friends, however, I feel like I’ve lost all connections and it’s a struggle to socialize. I have lost all motivation to see people. I have always struggled with anxiety, however, it has gotten much worse since the pandemic and it’s not getting any better. School is not the best online, however, I believe I am doing well academically.
May 24, 2020
I hope that I never take anything for granted after this experience. I also hope that we all heal as a society from this traumatic and uncomfortable experience.
"On Day 20 of the Quarantine" was written just because: I was at my desk, thinking of all the people it was going to take a longer to see than I had imagined it ever would. David had just come out with a new book (a beautiful work called The Somnambulist), which I had blurbed, and his book had arrived in the mail that day or the day before, so I was thinking of him. I have no idea what happened to the poem I interrupted to write this one.
This handbook acts as a guide for child care directors who are seeking ways to support early childhood educators and families through a pandemic crisis.
The instructor, Rob Boschman, asked us to relate elements of the course material to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was written over the first few weeks of April, 2020. The essay is an early reflection and ecological consideration of the impact of the pandemic on human culture.
Erika Grace Grosspietsch
Where Has Society Gone? Created: June 1st, 2020 Why/How: Written directly about the pandemic and social impact that it's had on myself and others. A creative piece exploring more than the physical barriers that have been put in place, stopping us from feeling alive again.
This is a poor attempt to capture the 7 pm tribute to health care workers that has taken place every night since about late March in my neighbourhood. Every night without fail folks have been marking 7 pm with pots, noisemakers and most recently an air horn.
Trico Changemakers Studio is working on a community wide project in the Crowsnest Pass. John Taylor has encouraged me to submit my update on life and artwork during this pandemic.
Camille Rhose Tabacla
The title of my poem is "Everything Changed". It was created a month after COVID close to the first wave. It relates to the pandemic on my life because it has the sadness around covid, missing the normal we all lived in but being hopeful for the light at the end.
Within a mere 24 hours my “normal” is now strange.
And now I can't go outside or the people will rage.
“Give me my freedom” They will say.
Assuming that they are fighting to keep the economy at bay.
While I am here.
Living my new “normal”.
For immune systems can be weak.
And the future seems bleak.
But yet I want hope.
To know how to cope.
Because through the darkest times I know others have it worse.
So I will remain hopeful.
To breathe without a mask on my face. Not letting the days go to waste.
I will wait.
Within a mere 24 hours my “normal” is now strange.
I am an extrovert. It is hard for me not to be around people, so I made my own zoom account and bought jackbox party packs. On Saturdays, I do virtual parties with my friends. I am the only one who stays home because all members of my family are essential workers. I am always worried about them and their patients. I am proud of them honestly. I worry a lot about people. It doesn't help when you are an empath. I just try to message my friends and family. I don't care if I get annoying as long as I know they are alive and kicking. I had this major realization in my life. I fully reflected on what I want in my life. I have a lot of time in my hands, so I am planning everything to enjoy life to the fullest during the pandemic.
May 24, 2020
I hope people will work together to actually survive this pandemic. I hope people also realize how lucky we are. Recognizing the things to be grateful about is also important. Once the pandemic is over, get ready MRU because I am gonna be loud and be an amazing changemaker and advocate for its students, services and clubs!
May 5, 2020
My greatest concern would be that we start trying to bring back normalcy too quick. Reopening places, being lenient with going outside, getting together, etc. I think until a vaccine is created and shown to work, there is no stopping the pandemic.
Definitely health. I have been putting on so much weight and I can't find the motivation to get out of bed. Before this whole COVID situation, I used to have goals for the day; go shopping, buy groceries, go for a walk, go to the park, etc. Now that almost everything I used to do is either shut down, involves going out, or is unsafe to do, I don't know what to do with my time.
April 24, 2020
My greatest concern is with people who believe that the pandemic is a hoax, people who feel that they are justified in risking public safety. My hope is that this break in the usual pace of life will greatly improve our environment.
The move to online classes and working from home has greatly impacted my workload. I am grateful to have a job at this time, but the focus on electronic books and databases has given me a lot of work to do in a short space of time.
May 26, 2020
Staying in touch with friends during this pandemic has been hard. Also, not being able to see distant relatives has been a challenge.
Once most of the restrictions are lifted I'm worried that people are going to be less careful with their actions around others, and the virus might come back. I hope this time has taught everyone the importance of community. Even a simple act of kindness, such as a text message to check in and see how someone is doing can go a long way. I hope people realize the importance of slowing down and learning to have a balance between life and work because that is living a fulfilling life. Finally, I hope people use technology for good. Technology has helped many people stay informed with what is happening concerning the pandemic, and technology has brought friends and family together who are far apart.
December 1, 2020
The Anti-Mask Movement November 2020 - Resistance to public health guidelines around masks has become more intense as we move deeper into the pandemic. This flyer arrived in my neighbour's mailbox recently, a few days before an anti-mask protest in downtown Calgary that drew hundreds of people. These protests have been happening in Alberta and across the country, while at the same time the intensive care units in hospitals are starting to overflow.
July 7, 2020
The magazine article "Listening in a Time of Pandemic," published in Alberta Views (online version, 1 July 2020).