During Spring Break, 2020, Northwest Leadership Team (NLT) members began calling upon their respective units to begin the process of preparing students for online delivery of courses previously designated face-to-face.
Other universities across the nation and across the globe were reacting in much the same way as Northwest: moving all classes online in an attempt to achieve social distancing to “flatten the curve.”
Faculty almost immediately began using social media to communicate about various pedagogical approaches to the sudden, in many cases, mid-semester migration of formerly campus-based courses to online. It is in this atmosphere of cooperation that Northwest Coronavirus Stories was born. As historians, we were fascinated by the variety of responses of people in our area and in our state. In just Maryville, life continued as normal (at least initially) with people out in public, going to bars, and planning the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, and yet Walmart and HyVee were out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, and dry goods. This led us to ask questions about people’s reactions, concerns, and beliefs – and we want to see how this changes as the pandemic continues and life in our region continues to change.
We are but one of many institutions currently engaged in the collection of COVID-19 pandemic stories like this, and we thank our colleagues for their advice and work in promoting the documentation of this seminal moment in our lives. This repository of student, faculty, staff, and community members’ recollections of the pandemic will provide an important resource for future research and preserve our collective memory.
If you are interested in learning more or have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at HSSNW@nwmissouri.edu.
Wishing you good health,
Dr. Dawn Gilley
Associate Professor of Humanities
Dr. Elyssa Ford
Associate Professor of History
Honors Program Director
Ms. Dana Ternus
Senior Instructor of History