Perhaps an unusual specialised study is focusing on special events, those around a certain theme, or events that took place during a specific time period.
A special event that is topical for the current climate, on a global scale, is around the unprecedented reaction to COVID-19.
Since the outbreak began, I have been following with interest. I have referenced it a number of times during my daily journaling and groups of archivists are battling with the approach to address the historical event the situation has created. During my daily writings I have recorded the death rates declared each day and identified that those reported are significantly less than the likely number, as they reflect those who passed away in hospital only and do not currently include those who have passed away in accommodation settings, such as residential and nursing homes or prisons.
I have also commented on the handling of the situation by the Government, both at Westminster and in the dissolved administrations in the nations making up the United Kingdom. I too have focused on the severe hotbeds of activity in other countries, such as Italy and Spain, with a hypothesis for the high numbers and how it is affected by the various population demographics.
Will my daily recordings prove to be of great historical value, yes and no – they are the personal writings of me, therefore unique in the very nature of personal journaling. As a collective with others, that would be quite interesting to review, how do my views compare with others. I too, have commented on the impact the pandemic has had on pharmacies, both hospital and community based, the impact of retired and former staff of the profession and wider, across the whole National Health Service (NHS).
Sadly, not all special events are joyous in their nature; and in the case of COVID-19 it represents what is not just unprecedented in this country, but globally and I do not believe there is one household or individual who is not affected by this event, whether that is because usual routines are changed, countries on lock down, financial assistance from a government not known for it’s public spending, or because of the community outreach. Whatever effects it has on you and your family, please document it, because those recordings will, going forward be of value to historians.
Whatever you write, whatever your personal experiences are, I do not believe that we are all individually unaffected by this and as such even once lock down is relaxed I do not believe we will return to “normal” We have all had to make changes to our lives and whilst those changes may be for the short term, there maybe significant reflection and perhaps, just perhaps those changes will remain. Reflection is a valuable tool.
The Mass Observation Archive are encouraging people to write about the pandemic and you can read further about it HERE.
Taking part in the A-Z Challenge for 2020