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Thomas County Organizations Partnering To Document The Coronavirus Pandemic

Local organizations in Thomas County are working to chronicle the coronavirus pandemic. They're asking residents to donate items that will reflect what life is like during this time.

Margaret Titus is a grandmother living in Thomasville. To prevent herself from catching COVID-19, she gives her granddaughters air hugs instead of real ones.

"We have a little greeting. Do you feel the love? And they say, 'yes we do,' but we're not touching," Titus says.

Titus works as executive director at Woodleaf Senior Care. She says the facility has adopted safety measures to protect residents from the coronavirus, and those changes, Titus explains, felt necessary to preserve.

"I think someday my granddaughters are going to want to go back and look at this moment and see the reality of what it was at this moment in history," Titus says.

She donated items to the Thomas County Chronicles COVID project. The Thomasville History Center is one of the organizations participating in the project.

"As historians, we know it's very important to have as diverse a historical record as possible. To have all of the different voices of community members," says the center's Amelia Gallo.

Gallo is hoping people will continue donating items so the pandemic can be discussed and studied in the future.

"We don't know when these items are going to be shared, or you know, publicized, but we'll have them. Much in the way we wish that a lot of the items would have been documented for the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918 and other important national and international events."

The Jack Hadley Black History Museum is another participant in the project.

"My take on it based on keeping up with everything that has been going on where you're seeing the stats that speak to who has—who are dying at a higher rate and it happens to be the people that or the narratives that we capture here," says museum educator, JaMarcus Underwood.

Meanwhile, Titus is hoping historians can document the pandemic in a meaningful way.

"What you don't document stands to be altered as history moves forward," she says.

People can donate items for the Thomas County Chronicles COVID project at the Thomasville History Center, Jack Hadley Black History Museum, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville Center for the Arts, and Thomas County Public Libraries.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.