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Telling Our Stories in the Age of COVID-19

We cannot let these experiences be forgotten. Please help document this unprecedented time.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is a historic event of unparalleled proportions. Since first arriving on the global stage in late 2019, it has reshaped entire national landscapes and impacted every single one of us, albeit in very different ways. 

In the United States, the pandemic has played out on the stage of an equally historic and divisive presidential election. The intersection of politics with disease management has brought to the surface, mostly through numbers and charts, a startling story of systemic inequality in some of the most basic structures of American society, including our access to food; health care; employment; education; citizenship; and dignity as it pertains to our gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, sexuality, nationality, documented, and religious identities.

"Covid Haiku" by Alexandra Munoz. From Together/Apart: The COVID-19 Community Memory Archive at the University Library Special Collections, California State University San Marcos.

No matter where we live, each of us has a unique story to tell. All of us have stories about change and challenge. Some of us have stories about inequality. A few of us have tales with silver linings. Whatever your stories, we invite you to contribute them to the CSUSM Together/Apart: The COVID-19 Community Memory Archive. We are collecting real-time narratives to ensure that the daily struggles of our individual and collective experience are not overlooked or neglected in historical recordings. Numbers and charts--while important in many ways--cannot move us in the way that stories can; they cannot help us to understand the depth of emotion that accompanies the changes we have endured nor the abiding pain of the communal loss of one another due to quarantine. Please help document this unprecedented time. Use your words, photos, videos, art, music, and/or any medium in your preferred language to contribute a story about your life during covid-19 to this research archive. Big or small, your narratives, poems, songs and digital or physical creations are all welcomed. Your submission can remain anonymous, too (although we will need some basic “in take” information to be sure you are over 18 and own copyright). Together we will create a unique repository of lived experience in Southern California that tomorrow’s researchers will be able to consult to learn about one of the most historically significant moments in modern human history: The Age of Covid-19. 

In addition to information about this project and how to submit to it, you may explore the various links on the left side of this page to find resources related to the pandemic, other local collecting efforts, and CSUSM's response and resources. 


This project is created in alliance with https://www.covid-stories.com/ at Cornell University and other COVID archives and collecting projects.

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All submissions will receive a receipt. Please check with individual faculty for extra credit policies.


45 CFR 46.102(l)(1) deems activities such as these as not being research and thus not applicable to IRB approval. "For purposes of this part, the following activities are deemed not to be research: (1) Scholarly and journalistic activities (e.g., oral history, journalism, biography, literary criticism, legal research, and historical scholarship), including the collection and use of information, that focus directly on the specific individuals about whom the information is collected."