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How Richmond students can tell future generations about coronavirus impact

Posted at 5:15 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 19:35:52-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Central Virginia’s response to trying to contain the coronavirus is unprecedented in modern history with school closures, business shut downs, and stay at home orders. The Valentine Museum wants to capture the perspective of Richmond students by documenting their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on the impact of the virus.

The museum is calling all students to send in journal entries, letters, family interviews, pictures, and artwork that explain to future generations what living in this moment was like. The campaign is called “Richmond Stories from Richmond Kids.”

“One of your goals for with working with students is to get them to start seeing themselves in Richmond history,” said Liz Reilly-Brown, Director of Education and Engagement at The Valentine. “What an amazing tool to sort of help them start thinking about the way that they are sort of living through a historic period right now.”

Students can submit entries online since like so many organizations the museum has closed its doors until May. Follow this link to submit your own.

Reilly-Brown said they want students to record everything from “mundane observations to big thoughts about how things are changing day to day.” Two entries they’ve received so far stood out to Reilly-Brown because it shows the variance in thought students are experiencing.

“One eighth grader submitted a response saying that what’s on his mind is everyone from his class are going to different high schools next year, so he's like I might not see some of my classmates ever again. Think about it, those feelings are weighing on young people that I just hadn't thought about, which is interesting,” Reilly-Brown said.

“Also, we had a first grader from Richmond make a really cool collage. It mentions that she's worried about her grandparents and encouraged that we all really need to stay home right now. I love that she added, 'Please stay home. It's really not that hard.”

Snapshots of thoughts like these will help tell a full story of this moment in Richmond history directly through the work of young people, according to the museum. The Valentine plans to hold onto the items for future exhibits and historical documentation.

“We're hearing a lot from experts, elected officials, but taking a moment to elevate the voices of young people who maybe we don't listen to and hear their experiences, as often, felt like an important and special moment,” Reilly-Brown said.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

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