"Postcards from a Pandemic" will feature CCHC’s story in the Nickerson Archives
For more than a year, Cape Cod Healthcare has been working at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, our story will have a central place in Cape Cod history for years to come – and you can participate.
"Postcards from a Pandemic: Living on Cape Cod During COVID-19," is a community engagement project initiated by Dorothy Skelley, a local writer and resident of West Barnstable, in collaboration with the Nickerson Archives at Cape Cod Community College. Cape Cod Healthcare will take part in this collection by sharing stories, slideshows and more featuring content from The Pulse and Cape Cod Health News as part of the official historical record of our region.
Individuals, including Cape Cod Healthcare staff, are also invited to participate. Skelley is collecting essays, stories, poems, photos and artwork that capture a diverse cross-section of voices from Cape Codders to preserve our unique perspective on how daily lives here have been impacted by COVID-19. While the community at large is encouraged to send in items, Skelley said the experiences of healthcare workers are pivotal in telling the story – much of which has stayed behind hospital walls.
“The impact of the pandemic has been so direct on the healthcare community,” Skelley said. “Those at Cape Cod Healthcare certainly are the heroes throughout this.”
The submissions will be gathered for a digital archive at the Nickerson Archives, which maintains a collection of more than 10,000 items from the 17th century to the present that reflect the historical record of the region and the development of Cape Cod in the last several centuries. Plans are in discussion to publish an anthology of books based on the project.
Postcards from a Pandemic was created so future generations will better understand the impact the pandemic had on the lives of all Cape Codders during this period of time.
“We also (understand) how important and meaningful it would be to have the voices of healthcare workers expressed,” she said. “We want to capture the many voices of the pandemic to create a historical record of this time on Cape Cod.”
To date, there are more than 200 submissions to the archive project, which will continue indefinitely. Skelley said she looks forward to reaching a final deadline, with hope for an end to the pandemic.
“It’s open-ended,” she said. “We knew right from the beginning that people’s thoughts and feelings were going to evolve. Everyone’s feelings have changed since the start.”
To participate in Postcards from a Pandemic: Living on Cape Cod During COVID-19, send essays, photos or digitized artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Postcards project, visit the Nickerson Archives.