School Mask Breaks And Other 2020 COVID-19 Experiences Our Grandchildren Should Preserve For Their Children and Grandchildren, Sample Questions for Videotaping Them and How To Do It

During the COVID-19 coronavirus lock down period in March and April, 2020, I interviewed our older grandchildren, two aged 13 and one aged 16. We videotaped these interviews to be opened in ten years. At that time, the children were abruptly removed from school and quarantined with all of us. When I interviewed them last spring, I honestly, did not anticipate the length and severity of this pandemic. See blog post, “What Will Our Grandchildren Remember About Living Through The Coronavirus Pandemic COVID-19 and How To Memorialize their Memories With Them and For Them.”

I recently came upon an article in The Washington Post, “‘It is getting better now’: Family letters from the deadly 1918 flu pandemic,” about a 74 year old man who happened upon letters his 16 year old mother wrote about her experiences during the 1918 flu pandemic. That she memorialized it over a period of time is considered an extraordinary personal account of life during that pandemic. I realized we Grandparents should encourage our grandchildren to memorialize their experiences as the time passes during COVID-19, in video, of course, to match their life and times.

There are two significant reasons to memorialize our grandchildren’s experiences now. We are no longer in quarantine and our grandchildren have returned to school, or some form of school. Their lives are completely different than just a few months ago and a few months before that. This continuing evolving unique, once in a century, time in history should be preserved for their children and grandchildren.

There are so many ways to do this, and to involve even younger grandchildren. Of course, we grandparents honor the gatekeepers, the parents of our grandchildren, get their permission to videotape and involve them in the possible ways to do this, geared to the individual grandchild.

When I mentioned videotaping again to the grandchildren, all of them were enthusiastic, which I must admit surprised me a bit.  They agree that they are witnesses to a once in a lifetime event, hopefully.  Our thirteen year old grandson even started telling me what he wanted to say on the video, especially about how he only has a twenty minute mask break, which is the only time in the day that he gets to see the faces of his classmates at his new school!

I am sharing the list of questions we compiled for the first videotaping at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown and additional questions we came up with.  The list is all inclusive so pick the questions you and the grandchildren want to use.  Please select questions appropriate to the age and experiences of the grandchild.  Please remember to allow the interview to flow and follow the direction of the discussion rather than be glued to the list of questions.  As I discussed the quarantine with the grandchildren for the first video, I never got to all the questions.  We are following the same routine, with the oldest grandchild, now seventeen, doing the recording, and with he and the parents of the grandchildren keeping the videos to show the grandchildren in ten years.

Pandemic Video Outline for Recording/Documenting/Preserving Pandemic Memories To Be Viewed in Ten Years

 

Name

Age

Where you live

Grade in school

 

“This video is to document and preserve what you are seeing, feeling and doing during the pandemic.  We are recording on video what you are doing and feeling in this particular and significant moment in your life and in history.

 

Tell what you know about this pandemic.  How is it affecting the world?  How is this time an adventure?

What is the one thing you won’t do now that you’d love to do if you could.  

Describe the first time you wore a mask.  Where do you wear a mask now?  What kinds of masks do you wear?  Is it now a fashion statement for you?

How was school after the quarantine last spring?

What were you able to do and not able to do?

What did you do this past summer?  What did you like?  What did you miss?

Describe your first day of school after the summer break.  How is school same/different than before the quarantine, after the quarantine, and this fall term?

What is the difference in your life now than in March during the lockdown?

What is the difference in your life now than before COVID-19?

Describe on line school and in person school.  Which do you like better? Why?

Describe the changes and challenges you have had in your life due to COVID-19.

Describe your life before COVID-19 and now.  What do you like most about your life now? What do you like least now.

Describe your favorite activities before the pandemic.  Now.

What activities are you able to participate in in person? Remotely?

Do you know anyone who has had COVID-19?  What do you know about their experience.

How has social distancing affected your life?  What have you been doing during social distancing?

How has mask wearing affected your life?

We had a Bar Mitzvah during this pandemic.  Describe how it was.  How was it different than the other two Bar and Bat Mitzvahs?  What did you think about this kind of Zoom celebration?  What did you like?  What did you miss?

You had a birthday during this pandemic.  Describe how it was.  How was it different than other birthdays?  What did you like?  What did you miss?

How excited are you that there is a vaccine?

What can’t you wait to do when this pandemic is all over?

When everything is back to a new normal, what do you expect your life to look like?  How will it be changed?

Are there any positive consequences of the pandemic?

What do you want to remember the most about this unique time in history you are living through?

What do you want to tell yourself to remember 10 years from now about this life experience?

Please consider taking the time to have the grandchildren videotape you and their parents, if they are willing.  This is a once in a century event.  What will the preservation of experiences in this COVID-19 pandemic mean to you and yours as it did to the son who came upon his 16 year old mother’s letters written during the 1918 pandemic 102 years ago.  His takeaway from a century ago: “It is getting better now. Anyway, I hope so.”

With the vaccine on the immediate horizon, let us hope so too for all of us with

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

 

 

 

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