Want to contribute something, but not sure what could you talk about?

We thought you might ask that. We’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections on a variety of themes that arose throughout 2020, including the pandemic, quarantine, social justice protests, Black Lives Matter, the presidential election, and more. The students in Dr. Black’s “Introduction to Public History” class offer some suggestions here, but these are by no means prescriptive.

Here are some questions to get you thinking:

  • What were your first thoughts when you learned of the virus coming to the United States?
    • How did your community take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
    • How did people in your community respond to these precautions?
  • How did you get through the quarantine?
    • Did you start new hobbies during the pandemic? If so, what were they?
    • Was there an overall feeling you had during the pandemic? Fear? Hope? Anger? We want to know.
    • In what ways did certain activities (restaurants, doctors’ offices, amusement parks, museums, etc.) change to accommodate the CDC guidelines? How did you feel about this?
    • What activities have you and your family done during the summer?
    • How has the pandemic changed how you interact and spend time with your family, friends, and peers? 
    • How did quarantine change your routine? Was it hard to find inspiration or motivation while remaining at home?
    • Where have you seen MU’s charisms of Mercy, Service, Justice, and Hospitality in these times?  Where have these been missing?
  • How did the pandemic and quarantine affect your economic status?
    • Were you or is someone you know an essential employee? How did these jobs become more difficult during this time?
    • How did unemployment affect your community during the pandemic? 
    • How have you dealt with financial struggles (if any) during the economic crisis?
  • How did the closure of businesses and schools affect you?
    • How did you feel about shifting to classes online? Was there anything that surprised you about this shift? How / why?
    • If you have kids, how have they handled the closing of schools?  How did they feel knowing that they could not see their friends as much as they used to in person?
    • How did you and your family adapt to these changes during quarantine?
MU student protests

Misericordia University. “Students at Time-Out Day, in which they demanded a voice in the curriculum at College Misericordia,” circa 1972. RG905. Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle University Archives, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA.

  • How do you feel about protests that have taken place over the course of this year?
    • Did the Black Lives Matter movement reach your community? How? 
    • How did the Black Lives Matter movement influence your opinion, or educate you about police brutality and racial inequality?
    • Did your community participate in other protests, such as those resisting lockdown orders? How did you feel about those?
    • How did members of your community respond to the protests that occurred?
    • Do you think protests are / were effective? Why or why not?
  • Has the upcoming election created tension within your family or community? How / Why?
    • Has COVID-19 and how it was handled contributed to your political opinion or your support of a candidate in the upcoming election? How / why? 
  • How will this pandemic affect the next generation of lives?
    • What are your hopes for the future? 
    • What do you believe are some positives that came out of the pandemic? (Whether it be in your personal life, locally, or globally.)
    • What have we learned as a society about how to deal with a crisis like this?

Ready to contribute? Follow this link to our contribution form

Prefer to discuss your contribution with our archivist? You can reach out to Maureen Cech directly.  Find her contact info by clicking this link.