Your COVID-19 Stories | Virginia Museum of History & Culture
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Your COVID-19 Stories

Share Your Story: Documenting COVID-19 in VirginiaHow are you adapting to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 global health crisis? As with the great trials of our past, we know it is critical that future generations be able to learn from what we are facing today. Therefore, the VMHC launched Share Your Story: Documenting COVID-19 in Virginia, an initiative to document through personal stories and artifacts the ways in which our Commonwealth and its communities are being impacted.

History matters, more than ever before. It reminds us that, together, we can get through this and be stronger for it. 

Excerpts from a selection of the stories submitted by other Virginians can be read below. You can submit your own story here.

The text of each submission is reproduced here as provided by the author—including any peculiarities of syntax, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Where these require explanation, one has been inserted by the curator in brackets.

“While waiting for the impending arrival of our first child, my middle school band director husband and his co-director developed a distance-learning project for their students, allowing the students to continue to make music together, from the safety of their homes.”

–Kate Nesmith, Staunton


“Throughout this health crisis, my family and I have completely changed the way we go about our lives. However, through it all, the human spirit is triumphing. Like the great webinars that VMHC shares, our school has done fantastic reach-out to our community. We are teaching virtually, which is a struggle for some, but we are learning and growing together. We are making videos to keep up spirits, even if some videos are made in jammies. I believe we will prevail, but I hope we learn from this. Thanks, stay safe and stay well.” 

–Jonathan Whitehead, Albemarle


“I have witnessed panic expressed in the form of hording groceries and supplies. Many of my friends and family, including my immediate family are deeply anxious about not having a job to return to. I have also witnessed incredible levels of kindness right here in our neighborhood. Neighbors checking on neighbors, sharing and offering assistance to the elderly and high risk members of our area. I want future generations to know that this was an unprecedented time in Virginia and global history. I have seen efforts put forth that would seem impossible come to fruition. We have a long way to go, but right now, we can only take one day at a time.”

–Cathy Hoyt, Henrico


“I've lived through & survived roughly 7 tornadoes, Hurricane Isabel, Tropical Storm Gaston, many other events which quickly came & went & we cleaned up & survived & went on with our lives. This event […] has totally shown me how fragile life is, how fragile our planet is & how hearty our people are & how we fight now an enemy we cannot see nor understand really how it moves.”

–Barbara Turner, North Chesterfield


“I went into my classroom one last time before the governor permitted only essential trips, and mourned that the last time I would see my students was March 13—the day frozen in time which had been written on my board in my room that last day. […] We have been learning new ways of teaching and of reaching out to each other. I hope that those are skills that we continue to pursue after this is over.”

--Julia Strukely, Richmond


“I am a pediatric nurse. My co- workers and I love to make sure our littlest patients can find joy in even the scariest times. […] When the future generations look back on this time I want them to see that although it was unprecedented what we were experiencing […] we were resilient! We still found ways to come together as a community to raise each other up, to support our local businesses, and to make sure the less fortunate didn’t have to go with out! Some things never change even if they look a little different!”

-Kimberly Ferguson, Rockingham


“As a librarian, this crisis made me think more about how people in my field balance the responsibilities we have to ourselves, our profession, and the public. I wrote this piece for Public Libraries Online about resisting 'vocational awe' during the pandemic. The article has close to 700 'likes' at the moment, so I think it has really resonated. Closing public libraries during the pandemic was a hard but necessary decision.”

--Suzanne LaPierre, Annandale


“In my 78 years I have never experienced any event like this but was lucky to be raised by grandparents who lived through the great depression and were aware that terrible times could be weathered. . . . I feel blessed that I am able to have a roof over my head and retired with an income. I think about all the people who have lost their jobs and those working to save lives and risking their own lives trying to save others. I worry about my own son who is still working and my grandkids being home schooled and how this will affect their thinking in the future as my grandparents experience affected them.”

–Sherrie Bowman, Chester


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