The project, which launched in April 2020, asks British Columbians to share the stories of their experiences during the pandemic. (Photo courtesy the Royal BC Museum)

Royal BC Museum seeks observations for COVID-19 project

Scientists have coined the phrase “the anthropause” to describe the global slowdown in human activity

As British Columbians enjoy their back yards, spectacular parks and wilderness areas during the long days of summer, the Royal BC Museum invites them to add their observations on nature to the COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time project.

The project, which launched in April 2020, asks British Columbians to share the stories of their experiences during the pandemic.

“This project, an open invitation for all B.C. residents to participate in the museum process, highlights the perspectives of ordinary people living through extraordinary times,” said Royal BC Museum CEO Prof. Jack Lohman.

“As a museum of human and natural history, we welcome British Columbians to share their experiences of nature during the pandemic.”

Scientists have recently coined the phrase “the anthropause” to describe the global slowdown in human activity (especially travel) during the pandemic.

With this in mind, the museum is asking people to consider two major questions: Since the pandemic reached British Columbia, what are you seeing in nature that’s changing? What has been your personal experience of nature during the pandemic?

To answer these questions, people can use the project’s online submission form: royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/covid-19-collecting-our-time.

Since the project began, the museum and archives has received hundreds of stories, thoughts, photos and videos from across B.C. Many of these submissions reflect people’s relationships with other people—especially family members, caregivers, front-line workers and teachers—and often in domestic or institutional settings. You can see a selection here: royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/recent-submissions.

As the province moves through the stages of the Restart Plan, the museum and archives will keep gathering B.C.’s pandemic stories. The Royal BC Museum hopes to build a longer-term collecting project to capture this legacy.

For more information about the Royal BC Museum’s COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time project, visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/tell-us-your-covid-19-story.

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