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Documenting COVID-19 at HWS

An initiative of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives & Special Collections

Share Your Story: Documenting COVID-19 at HWS project logo banner

If you'd like to participate in this project but don't know where to begin, use the questions below to help you get started. You can answer any or all of these questions directly in question/answer format, or use them to inspire another format that works for you. Try to think about what questions future researchers might have if they were to interview you about your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Spring 2020
  • What was the shift from in-person to online instruction like?
  • What challenges have you experienced in the transition to online instruction?
  • Are you able to work from home? How has the transition affected you and your family?
Fall 2020/Spring 2021
  • What factors did you consider when deciding whether to take in-person or remote classes?
  • How are in-person classes different from before the pandemic? How are they different from previous semesters during the pandemic?


Campus Life
Spring 2020
  • Where are you physically located now? Are you still living on campus? If not, when did you leave campus?
  • How did you hear you were being encouraged not to return to campus? What was your immediate reaction?
  • What do you miss about campus?
  • How has being off campus altered your expectations for your college experience?
  • If you are still living on campus, how is campus life different now?
Fall 2020/Spring 2021
  • How has campus life changed?
  • What non-academic activities are you involved in? What mode are these activities using during the pandemic?
  • How safe do you feel on campus? Are there additional safety precautions you are taking that are not a standard campus regulation?


Social Distancing
  • How do you keep in touch with friends and family? Has anything changed?
  • How often do you leave your residence? Where do you go?
  • Do you work in a job that is an essential service right now? (e.g. grocery stores, food service and restaurants, etc.) How are you handling the responsibility of working in such a position?


General Questions
  • When did you first become aware of the COVID-19 pandemic? What were your first thoughts or feelings? What are you thinking or feeling a year into the pandemic?
  • How have you prepared or responded to this situation? How have the people around you responded?
  • How has your routine changed?
  • How are you feeling about everything that is happening?
  • What do you miss most about life before this pandemic? What do you think a post-pandemic world might look like?
  • What brings you joy or comfort right now?
  • What are your biggest concerns right now?
  • Do you know anyone who has contracted the COVID-19 virus? Are you a caretaker of this person?
  • What other ways has the COVID-19 virus affected you?
  • What do you want others to know about your experience during this pandemic?


Daily Questions
  • What did you do today? How was today different from yesterday or a typical day in your life?
  • Who did you talk to today? What did you talk about? How did you feel before, during, and after the conversation?
  • What new information did you learn today? How do you think you will use this information? Where did this information come from? Why do you trust the source of this information?

Ready to submit your story? Fill out this Google Form.

Your experience and contribution is important. Thank you for helping us document COVID-19 at HWS.