The Oakwood Historical Society is embarking on an ambitious project to capture the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the community. Oakwood High School hosted a cap and gown drive-thru celebration Tuesday behind the high school. Seniors were encouraged to decorate their cars while teachers handed out caps, gowns and diplomas. The school plans a virtual graduation on May 26. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Oakwood Historical society seeks to preserve coronavirus stories

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Mayor Bill Duncan announced to council that the historical society has launched the project in a attempt to capture stories about how the COVID-19 crisis changed lives of people living in Oakwood.

“The success of the historical society’s project depends in large part on the participation of our residents and businesses,” Duncan explained.

What the society is looking to gather includes writings, drawings, photographs, videos, and anything that is relevant to how the pandemic has affected lives, as the society intends to preserve them.

“Most people don’t think their stories are important, but someday we’re all going to look back on this, and it will be interesting to read people’s accounts,” Oakwood Historical Society President, Tiffany Rubin, said.

The idea of collecting what is happening now is important for future generations to learn from. Duncan shared a vision of what that means that was delivered to him from the historical society.

“It’s spring time in the year 2030 and you’re looking back at the pandemic of 2020, the changes it dealt to daily life and how you adjusted,” he stated. “How will you describe it? Human nature is that your future memory of what happened won’t be a recollection, it will be a reconstrution built partly from what is happening now and largely from what you learn later about what hasn’t happened yet.”

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He added, that it is called “hindsight bias” and if one does not take time to record thoughts now during the pandemic, then there is a chance to lose an accurate unbiased recollection of events unfolding now as the coronavirus has impacted everyone.

“Nothing right now is obvious or certain,” Duncan said. “None of us can envision what normal life will look like months into the future. Our collective experiences will be lost unless individuals and businesses act now.”

The historical society will need help archiving at the very time college students will be looking for summer employment in a depressed economy and the organization is looking for contributions to hep the archival project succeed.

Every $1,500 funds six weeks of part-time work for one student and donations are fully tax-deductible.

To contribute through the Dayton Foundation, go to or send a check to the Oakwood Historical Society at 1947 Far Hills Avenue, Oakwood, Ohio 45419. You can also share your stories or events at that address or visit

MORE: Oakwood hosts drive-thru cap and gown pick-up

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