Have a story to tell about your life in the age of coronavirus? Willing to share it with others via video?
It is no exaggeration that we are in historically unique times. A group of local organizations have come together to launch a new community-based video project, CoronaCoaster, to provide a historical record of the ups and downs of living through a worldwide pandemic.
“The concept is that the stories will be told in a format similar to a TV series – aka Netflix – with seasons and individual episodes.” said Karen Barnes of Edmonds Rotary, who has been spearheading the project along with representatives from the Edmonds Waterfront Center, the Edmonds Diversity Commission and the Edmonds Historical Museum. “Season 1 is named ‘The Pandemic Times.’ We think it’s important to capture individual experiences of our community members before those memories start to fade. “
Although everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial focus will be on an intergenerational partnership that matches seniors ages 65-plus with high school- or college-age students.
“We selected seniors since they have arguably been the group most impacted by CDC messaging for staying at home and we selected students because of the dramatic change from going to school and after-school activities to learning from home at such a critical point in life.This hits close to home on both fronts for me, as I also have a daughter about to enter 9th grade,” explained Michelle Burke of the Edmonds Waterfront Center. “We know there are many in other demographic groups with interesting stories as well – we are open to matching up groups of all ages, we are interested in all dynamics of the effects of COVID-19.“
The project is open to residents in Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Shoreline and Woodway.
Each senior will have a starring role and will be randomly matched to two students – one of whom will be their co-Star and one of whom will be the series producer in charge of all planning, video, audio and editing. Cast members will be recorded — likely via Zoom — sharing pandemic stories of their choosing. Episodes will be no more than 10 minutes each and each team may have multiple episodes, if desired (for later binge watching). “Episodes will be available for searching and public viewing on the Edmonds Historical Museum website as well as YouTube for years to come,” noted Katie Kelly of the Historical Museum. “These stories will assist with telling the historical narrative of how COVID-19 affected our communities and help future researchers and educators tell a complete story.”
Organizers are interested in all stories that potential participants have. Were you bored? Scared? Stressed? Did you become an expert cook, gardener, mask maker or barber? It’s all part of the up and down “CoronaCoaster’,” and they welcome any and all of it that you’d like to share.