Silences in the Archive

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Silences in the Archive

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As I've been reading through the archive and seeing the stories shown, I have been struck by one important missing group from the narratives of Covid-19: Those who haven't taken it seriously. There are countless stories of people who see the wilful ignorance and even maliciousness of those who either don't believe Covid is important or is simply a hoax, there is little to no input from those kinds of people themselves.

This cannot be blamed entirely on the archive, to be sure. Every contribution here is voluntary, and if you are someone who is already disinclined to believe that Covid is important then you are less likely to attempt to talk about it in this space. Moreover, as this archive was created by and shared among academics, it is less likely to reach people who largely only use sites like Facebook on the internet and exist in their own bubbles. There is also the point that giving a space and platform to toxic conspiracies is not exactly a great idea.

We live in an age of alternative facts and wildly different sources of news and entertainment. Future historians using this archive will need to keep in mind that most of what is presented here is just one of the many realities people have been dealing with this past year.

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This item was submitted on January 28, 2021 by Adam Peretz using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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