So much of the experience of the pandemic involved the strange becoming familiar. New words and phrases—from “social distancing” to “Zooming”—became commonplace. New practices—like shopping in a mask or scanning a QR code to read a restaurant menu—became habitual. And so it was, too, with material objects—many things that initially stood out as unusual have since faded into a blurry background.
But what becomes familiar does not necessarily stay familiar. In fact, it does not necessarily stay at all—unless there is someone to keep it around. It is with this in mind that the students of HIS 3325 gathered the artifacts exhibited below, each of which in their own way give insights into the peculiarities of life at Merrimack during the pandemic. The students’ task was to gather what was likely to be lost over time–whether it be the objects themselves or their pandemic-era contexts.
Click on the pictures below to learn more about each artifact.
Have an artifact you’d like to share? Tell us about it below.