Documenting the COVID–19 pandemic for Carey’s future

The world has gone mad, with shortages of toilet paper, hand sanitiser disappearing from our supermarket shelves, and now the suggestion that the AFL Grand Final relocate to Queensland? God forbid!

The Carey Archives has a mandate to capture the memories, stories and the history of the Carey community, and this global pandemic is certainly an extraordinary moment. We would like the Carey community to contribute to our collective memory, to document this unique moment in time and how we are dealing with the daily challenges that face us all. Times like these are unusual, and usual daily events can be missed and forgotten in a week’s time.

The interstate and overseas travel that many of us took for granted is now impossible with many state borders now closed to Victorians. Wedding plans, birthdays, funerals restricted and cancelled to a future date of celebration or mourning. During this period of restrictions, isolation and economic disruption, the Carey Archives is very interested and curious about what this moment in history is like for you.

It might be a photograph, some writing, a journal that documents a collective memory of this time, your ‘iso’ baking triumphs and fails, special occasions, or how you have celebrated or mourned during this time of social distancing. You may have family who are on the frontline of the COVID–19 crisis working to keep us safe healthy and fed. You may be home schooling your family and working from home, being frustrated by Zoom meetings for work or finding it surprisingly easy to chat to friends and colleagues online.

In this world of video conferencing, social distancing, face masks, sanitiser, coughing in the elbow, and knocking elbows as greeting – what new words have you heard? The new COVID–19 lexicon of 2020 is now becoming familiar. It is difficult to avoid describing ‘these times’ as ‘unprecedented’, ‘uncertain’ or ‘unchartered’. But the Aussie love of shortening and abbreviating, has resulted new words and acronyms, like the now commonplace ‘WFH’ and ‘iso’. Let us know about other new words or phrases, habits or trends, activities and projects you’ve taken part in during iso! 

We need you to be a part of history and ensure that in 10, 20, 50 years’ time we remember this moment. Share with us your stories, hobbies, joys, achievements and disappointments, and send all contributions to archives@carey.com.au. You can help us build this archive for the future.

Jo Horsley, Archivist
Community Engagement