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If you are a member of the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, or Duke Health communities, the Medical Center Archives and Library are collecting your stories.

Please visit their collecting project website for more information.

We find ourselves living in an extraordinary period of world history. It is sometimes difficult to measure the extent to which we’ve adapted to rapid changes. In order to prompt our memories, and record our feelings, we can take a few minutes to process what the COVID-19 global pandemic has meant to us. Historians, researchers, educators, and, perhaps even you, want to understand the experience. What do you want people to remember?

As part of our "Share Your COVID-19 Story" project, we encourage you to tell about your experiences in the way or ways that feel best to you. We know it might be challenging to find a starting point for your stories, so we offer these optional prompts as suggestions. You may respond to as many of the prompts as you'd like, or you may want to edit the prompts to suit your own experiences. You may continue to edit and add to your responses as long as you'd like; once you're ready to do so, you may submit your responses through the project's submission form.

  • How has the novel coronavirus disrupted your daily life? Are you missing school, family, work, sports, concerts, social plans, vacations, or anything else?
  • Have you had COVID-19 or known others who have? Have you lost loved ones to the disease?
  • Describe five memories from this time period that you will always carry with you.
  • What has this pandemic meant to you? How has it changed your way of seeing the world, your loved ones, school, local or federal government, or other things?
  • What do you know about the coronavirus? What fears do you have?
  • How does being an individual who may or may not be in a “high risk” category affect your day-to-day life?
  • What effect has this crisis had on your own mental and emotional health
  • How have your friendships and relationships been changed by the virus? Have you had to use social distance away from a new partner? Will you miss saying goodbye to friends because you or they are graduating?
  • Have you been helping others affected by COVID-19? Have you been making masks, shopping for seniors, or helping your community in other ways?
  • Have you taken any virtual tours of museums, parks or other interesting places? If so, explain how a virtual tour compares to an actual one.
  • Describe your experience of going out into public. What does it feel like to wear a mask or gloves? How does navigating the grocery store, or other stores, feel different?
  • What do you miss the most about life from before this outbreak? What do you miss the least about life from before this outbreak?
  • Have you or your loved ones experienced any shortages of items during these times? Are you having problems getting groceries or other essentials?
  • Are you spending your time in new ways? More or less time with loved ones? More or less television or computer time? More or less leisure time? How do these changes feel?
  • What has been your experience of getting exercise? Have you started exercising inside, or are you continuing to exercise outside?
  • Describe your e-learning and “school at home” day. How is it different from your regular school experiences? Are you helping other people, like children or siblings, with learning at home?
  • If you are teaching online instead of in person, what has that experience been like? What has surprised you? What has frustrated you?
  • Write a letter to your professor, a friend, or a colleague and tell them what you miss about classes or the Duke experience.
  • Do you have animals at home? How has your being home during the lockdown changed their normal day?
  • Do you like distance learning? Do you want to continue with it or would you prefer to go back to classroom learning?
  • If school is partially or entirely virtual this fall, how do you think your school experience will change? What are the things that you will miss or wish you had? What might be good about being online?