Six words to capture the devastating impact of a pandemic on a community.
A new community project seeks to commemorate the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 invading McLean County. The #12MonthsIn6Words effort looks to record reflections from the community on the past year.
The first COVID-19 case in the county was announced by the McLean County Health Department on March 19, 2020. The first death was reported on March 22. Since then, more than 14,000 residents have contracted the virus that has taken 170 lives in McLean County.
A joint effort from the McLean County Museum of History, the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan University, the Center for Civic Engagement at Illinois State University, and Heartland Community College, the #12MonthsIn6Words project seeks contributions from the community to help honor the anniversary. Organizers are asking community members to submit six words, or a six-word sentence, that encapsulates the challenges of the past year. Submissions can be made here.
“This has been a challenging time for many, most of all for those who have lost relatives and close friends to the virus, and those who continue to suffer long-term health consequences,” said Museum’s Curator of Digital Humanities Torii Moré. “We want this project to help acknowledge the shared trauma our communities have faced in the last 12 months.”
Authors of the #12MonthsIn6Words will remain anonymous, but the submissions themselves will be shared with the participating institutions and may be shared publicly. Select submissions will also be highlighted on the project’s Instagram page (@12monthsin6words). The submission form will be open until March 31. For additional information about the project, contact ARC@iwu.edu.
Marking the anniversary
To mark the anniversary of the arrival of the pandemic in McLean County, the Museum will join Not In Our Town and local leaders and artists for a brief ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday, March 12, on the Main Street side of the Museum in Bloomington, Illinois, or virtually through the Museum’s Facebook page. Physical distancing and masks are required, and crowd capacity will be limited to 50 participants. The event will honor the memory of McLean County residents who have lost their lives and reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on our community over the past year.
For additional information about this event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.