Documenting COVID-19 in Dutchess County, NY
We are unquestionably living in a historical moment that will be of interest to future generations. As many historians know, eyewitness records of events are the most valuable and also the rarest type of source material. Now is a chance to record your experiences, thoughts, and feelings for future generations.

Why now? Because the COVID-19 crisis is unique. Some people draw parallels with the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, but there are many differences between the two. These points of contrast range from the details of the viruses to the level of medical understanding and sophistication of technology to the government response. So if you choose to record your experiences, you won't simply be repeating data we already have. And if you pass up the opportunity to create a record, you are depriving future generations of valuable information.

Now is your chance to be a history-maker. Insure that your voice is preserved.

Tell us your feelings, what you are seeing around you, what you are doing, and what effect this is having on you, your family and your neighbors. Please answer those questions you wish to answer, in any form you feel comfortable whether as direct text answers to the questions or as poetry, artwork, photographs, or something else. We also want to see images of what is happening around you, in your home, in your community. At the end of the survey is a place to upload files. If you'd prefer to send in your response via a direct email, please write to

Please also feel free to fill out this survey multiple times. For example, if you answered the questions on March 29th and have more information that you wish to report on April 4th (random dates selected), feel free to submit a second survey response.

If you have images to share, please note the location, date, and subject of the image (including names of any people, buildings, etc) in an email and send the image(s) as an attachment to

We will preserve these responses in our archives and, with your permission, share them now and in the future. You don't need a Google account to answer these questions - Thank you for participating!

Credit to the Trenton Free Library for developing the original version of this form: 

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What is your name? *
What is today's date? *
In what town/village/city do you live? *
What is your age?
Please grant us permission to use your answers and images, either for future research purposes or for sharing across social media platforms and in future exhibits. *
What were your thoughts when the first COVID-19 cases were being diagnosed in China with the possible spread to the United States?
What were your thoughts when the first COVID-19 case was diagnosed in the United States?
What were your thoughts when the first COVID-19 case was diagnosed in New York?
How did your thoughts on COVID-19 change between the diagnosis of the first case in New York and the diagnosis of the first case in Dutchess County?
How has your behavior changed since the media first started reporting the spread? Did you continue your everyday activities? Did you start stockpiling groceries? Did you start washing your hands more frequently? Did you start avoiding people?
How have things changed for you and/or your family since the outbreak? Do you have/know children who need to do schoolwork from home, and how are you/they dealing with that?
Are you a business owner who has had to close? If you are still open, how have you had to adjust how your business operates? Are you an employee who has been laid off or are you working from home? If you are still working, what precautions are being taken?
What have you noticed has changed in your community since the outbreak? What has surprised you?
What is the worst thing about this? Are there any “silver linings” in what has happened (spending more time with family, catching up on tasks around the house, reading, doing projects, etc.)?
When do you think this will be over and things will be back to “normal”?
It is the year 2050 and another pandemic is looming – what would you want someone to know about the 2020 pandemic? How would you suggest they handle what is about to come? What did officials/community/you do in 2020 that those in 2050 might consider doing differently?
How do you feel about county government's response to the COVID-19 crisis? Has this crisis changed or otherwise impacted your relationship with county government?
Is there anything else you would like to add that hasn't already been asked above?
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