Maybe you’ve seen me around town in the last week, the crazy person with the camera. I’ve been walking around downtown taking photos of COVID-19 signage on the businesses. At a few places I’ve even taken photos of how business is being conducted in this new, unexpected society we’ve been thrust into. Yes, it seems odd to photograph us all at our worst, but the photos are bringing out the best of what’s happening in Northfield. Our story will be doubly powerful when images capture the moments.

Admittedly, this is an incredible time to be an historian. A pandemic is going on across the globe and life everywhere is adjusting as quickly as it can. No one knows what society will be like once the virus is in the past, so to document these changes as they are taking place is actually creating the historical resources others will look back on when studying this event.  I don’t take that challenge lightly. That’s why I’m printing off many of the recommendations and instructions being emailed out to our local businesses. That’s why I’ve contacted a couple businesses and asked if I could please have their door signs when the pandemic is over. That’s why I’m encouraging the community to write journals and donated them to the museum. That’s why I’m creating a list of items – tangible, 3-D items – that I want to collect representing this crisis. That’s why I’m the crazy person with the camera around town.

History is being made all the time. History is changing what the future looks like. History is not just what’s contained in the museum alone. It’s everywhere.