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The Collecting Covid questionnaire – the response so far

Elen Phillips, 22 June 2020

A month has now passed since we launched our digital Collecting Covid questionnaire asking individuals, communities and organisations from across Wales to document their personal experiences of living through the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time of writing, we have received over 800 responses, with the numbers steadily increasing each day. The reflective style of the questions allow people to voice their emotions and feelings, as well as their hopes and fears for the future. We are receiving deeply moving accounts of loss and trauma, anxiety and loneliness, alongside stories of community resilience and kindness. The following quotations give a flavour of the responses we have received so far.

There is a sadness throughout all of this. Most days I cry whether it is the news, TV programme, seeing images of lots of people at restaurants or pubs… Sometimes I think maybe some good will come out if it. There are more birds singing, the sky is clear of planes, the air is fresher. Maybe school classes being smaller is no bad thing. But then you remember the death toll. Remember when we could touch and embrace others? It seems like an age ago.

Maria, Cardiff

My feelings are generally much darker these days. There's not much to look forward to or plan for the way we used to. No one knows when the world will go back to a more normal state so there's not much point planning for things. At the same time though, it’s been nice to have time together at home with my family; between work, school and everyday things, it used to be much rarer.

Alison, Caerphilly

Being stuck indoors with same family members and trying not to take out frustrations with them. Balancing the budget as far more expensive when restricted to online shopping than previous experience. Lack of sleep due to worrying about money and whether any of us get ill as all have some degree of immune compromise and various other chronic health conditions.

Anonymous, Cardiff

My neighbours are mostly widows like myself and they are only a phone call away. It's been nice to see and wave at everyone on the Thursday evening clap for the NHS. Other neighbouring families have offered help with shopping etc. Everyone has been kind.

Margaret, Denbighshire

I think we have gotten to know our neighbours during this time, helping others, giving others your time to listen to their fears, knowing this won't last forever, & hopefully being better people in the long run.

Dette, Caerphilly

It's a once in a lifetime event, and all I hope is that when this is all over, the world does not go back to normal, but changes for the better.

Chloe, Aberfan

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed to the project to-date. By sharing your experiences so honestly, you are helping us to build an archive that will provide future generations with an incredible insight into the realities of living through COVID-19 in Wales.




Elen Phillips

Principal Curator Contemporary & Community History
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