Museum Seeking Pandemic Stories

OCEAN CITY – A resort museum is seeking accounts of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted community members.

In an effort to collect firsthand accounts of the ongoing public health crisis and its impacts on everyday life, the Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum has launched a new project called “Save Our Stories.” Curator Christine Okerblom said the community is encouraged to submit their stories to the museum in written or audio form.

“As a museum we are responsible for recording history …,” she said. “We wanted to accurately record how this pandemic affected our community.”

In August, the museum began collecting stories as part of the “Save Our Stories” project.

In the first phase of the project, Okerblom said, the museum conducted interviews with several resort leaders and townspeople, from the mayor to commercial fishermen and business owners.

“There was this sense of pulling together and finding out how adaptable you are …,” Okerblom recalled. “This sense of unity and working as a team to get through something was a reoccurring theme we noticed.”

Now, she said, the museum is seeking perspectives from other community members.

“We are asking for submissions,” she said, “so any reflections they are willing to share with us about how this pandemic affected them.”

Story submissions can be a specific experience, direct answers to prompts, or a combination, according to the museum. Prompt questions include “How did the news of the virus affect your summer vacation?”, “Did you have any positive experiences that were a result of COVID-19?” and “How did work change for you?”, to name a few.

“Unlike our other projects, this does not have a deadline,” Okerblom said. “We are still living through this pandemic, and we want people to have the opportunity to reflect now and six months from now.”

Okerblom said participants can submit written entries and audio recordings by visiting the museum’s website.

Those who give the museum permission to publish could have their stories featured in future exhibits. All others will be archived as museum artifacts.

“At the very least, they will be saved,” she said.

To submit a story, visit ocmuseum.org and click on “Save Our Stories.” For additional information, contact Christine@ocmuseum.org.

“They will be playing an active role in something that will help future generations,” Okerblom said. “I think having the community submit stories is an honest way of recording history.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.