COVID 19: A Chance to Write History

A  chance read of a twitter feed led me to think of how this common challenge of COVID 19 that the world is experiencing will go down as one of the defining moments of the 21st century in history.

When in July 1942, a thirteen year old Anne Frank and her family went into hiding for two years in an Amsterdam warehouse, she wrote, ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ with no intention of it getting published some day or perhaps be used as a book for literature studies in schools? No. She wrote it strictly for herself.

It was only in 1944 when she heard that Gerrit Bolkestein, member of the Dutch government in exile, had announced that he hoped to collect eyewitness accounts of the suffering of the Dutch people, which could be made available to the general public did she go back to her diary and edited her diary to create a version b. Version a being the unedited version.

This year, 2020 will remain as one of the most defining years in the history of mankind.

This is the time also to encourage children and even adults to write about what they are experiencing, thinking, feeling and observing as the world is hit by COVID 19. Unprecedented events that have gripped the world. Who could have ever imagined schools and colleges closing across the world outside of their academic cycle together, cancelled examinations online teaching and learning suddenly becoming the new norm, world economy taking a down turn, social distancing and physical distancing the new social order, scientists struggling to understand the enemy and find its cure. Some say it could take anywhere between five to six years for a vaccine to develop.

The ‘normal’ has changed.

As parents and educators this is the time to build as Shane Landrun @cliotropic says, ‘historical agency’ in our children. Encourage children to draw, write, record this experience. About what they see around them, how their friends are coping, what they hear or read in the news, how they spend their time in quarantine, what do they feel?

They have the power of writing down history as they see and experience it. Their very own eye witness account.

Preserve their diaries. It could be something that could be passed on to the next generation or find a place in their library at home or school.

Real accounts of how perhaps a ten year old girl or a teenage boy experienced this event. Narrated from their perspective of what the world went through in 2020.

Encourage documentation.

Encourage them to tell this small part of their life story.




Inspiration for the featured image- The noun project




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