MUSEUMS hope to capture contemporary evidence of Life during the pandemic.

LATE on March 12, Finland's most populous region cut itself off from the rest of the country. By the time the residents of the region, Uusimaa, which includes the capital, Helsinki, and is home to nearly  two-thirds of-

Of Finland's more than 1,500 cases of the coronavirus awoke on March 28, roadblocks had been erected along the highways. and the police were out in force to prevent anyone from entering or exiting.

In the past week, those police officers may have noticed a few observers tracking their efforts. The photographs and interviews were not necessarily journalists, but rather employees of the National Museum of Finland attempting to capture the historic moments in real time.

Around the world, the coronavirus outbreak has sent legions of EMERGENCY medical and health care workers into overdrive. But it has also meant work for a handful of curators and museum researchers in Europe, charged with tracking the event and implications of crisis as it happens.

Most of them do not know exact;y how or when their findings will be used, but they are confident that future generations of museum workers - and visitors -  will want the information.

It's not just the Finss who are doing it. Museums in Denmark, Slovenia and Switzerland, among others are busy documenting the crisis in various ways, whether asking citizens to keep diaries of their daily lives under lockdown or acquiring objects that represent the moment.

At the Vesthimmerlands Museum in northern Denmark, the curator Maria Hagstrup and a colleague have been taking photographs - from a safe distance - of the closed stores and empty streets of the country on lockdown. She has also been collecting firsthand counts from residents.

''Usually we think of a museum as a place with objects behind solid glass,'' she said in an interview. ''But right now, we have a a chance to get people's impressions in the moment, before even they've had time to even reflect on them.''

With the helps of the municipal governments, the museums put out a call on the social media for citizens to send in their accounts of life during the pandemic. So far, most of the stories have come in via email :
The dentist who had to close his practice, the older couple who worry about their autistic son, the newly home-schooled boy describing what it's like to have his mom as his teacher.

''As a historian, you're always thinking about what's missing, of what you want to know more about,'' Ms. Hagstrup said. ''I think what people will want to know about this crazy time in what everyday life was like, what it was like to live through.''

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on ''Life and Times'', continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Lisa Abend.


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