The COVID-19 crisis has affected, and continues to affect, the lives of all of us. Many of the resultant changes to our lifestyles will hopefully only be temporary but others may well turn out to become permanent.  When the danger is eventually all over, we will look back at this period of history and evaluate what it has meant to us, both personally and collectively.

A period of crisis can often inspire people into new creative expression, perhaps through art and particularly writing.  Keeping a personal record of how this coronavirus is affecting you can be both therapeutic and an important way of communicating with others. This is why Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is asking for volunteers to keep a journal to record these extraordinary times. 

Kim Forward, Leader of Hastings Council explained it like this: 

“Coronavirus (COVID-19) has transformed every part of our lives in just a few weeks. We are experiencing restrictions on our daily lives that have never happened at any point in our country’s history before. 

“As this is such an important point in our history, we believe it’s essential for the museum to start recording what’s happening. 

“We’re recruiting volunteers to keep a journal about their experience of living through the Coronavirus crisis. If you live in or around Hastings and are interested in taking part, email us at the museum for more details.”

The museum is interested in your individual experiences of living through the COVID-19 crisis, and how this is impacting on your work, hobbies, relationships, emotions and perspectives on life. They’re asking participants to write as much or as little as they feel like each day, but would like them to write something every day. We don’t mind what people are writing about it could be:

• what’s happened that day

• how has COVID-19 changed the way you live your life

• things you are finding difficult

• how you are keeping busy/calm/fit/well

• things that make you laugh or cry

• anything you have discovered about yourself, or anyone you are staying at home with

• how you think this experience might change you, your family and friends, or your community

It is hoped the journals will show the happy experiences as well as the difficult bits and the museum are asking that people donate their journal to their collection when the pandemic is over. This means it will become part of the Hastings Museum collections and be used in the future to help people understand what this experience was like for ordinary people. The journals may get used in future exhibitions and online to explain what it was like living through the COVID-19 crisis in Hastings. 

You can register to take part or show your interest by emailing the museum and they will get back to you: [email protected] 

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