We are living in a historic moment. The Minnesota Historical Society is collecting and preserving Minnesotans’ stories related to the COVID-19 health crisis so future generations can learn how the pandemic has impacted our lives. We invite you to read a sampling of these stories here and to share your story.
I am grateful for this experience
For as long as I’ve been studying history, I’ve wondered what it was like to live through a major historical event. Now, I have the opportunity to experience one first-hand, and it’s nothing like I imagined. For one thing, I always thought it would be something I read about in the news, such as the moon landing or the fall of the Berlin Wall. I never thought it would affect me personally. For another, I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. It seemed as if everything fell apart in the space of a week, and nothing’s been the same since. For my class, the seniors of 2020, it’s been an especially crazy couple of weeks. Most of us won’t experience a graduation ceremony or be able to spend time making memories with friends. Our future is more uncertain than ever, both in the short and long term.
As hard as it is now, I am grateful for this experience. It has given me time to think and reflect about what’s important in life, and what I want my future to look like. Not only that, but it’s also helped me understand the past a little more. In history books, you always read about incredible people who did great things and helped save the world. You almost never get a clear picture of what it was like for ordinary people in their everyday lives. I think now more than ever it’s clear that ordinary people are just as important as people in power, and though the ways we contribute to society in such times can vary, they are all essential in their own way. Though everyone is (literally) more distant than ever, I feel like we’re closer than ever, too.
~ Caitlin Ruhl of Central Minnesota