As businesses and organizations across the country grappled with ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) made the difficult but necessary decision to close its museum to the public and pause research services on March 14, 2020, in an effort to support social distancing recommendations. In the weeks leading up to this voluntary closure, a small crew of staff worked tirelessly to keep the building clean and safe for our staff, volunteers, and visitors, amidst this unprecedented pandemic. We are so lucky at OHS to be surrounded by colleagues who, despite these uncertain times, raise our spirits.
One of OHS’s custodians, David Benge, wrote a poem (that we’ll post below) to assure OHS staff that all would be okay. It’s this kind of optimism and humor that will get us through this period of isolation, as Oregonians heed Governor Kate Brown's March 23, 2020 Executive Order 20-12 to "Stay Home, Save Lives." This is why Dear Oregon will increase its twice-monthly posts to twice a week during this public closure. Readers can expect to see the in-depth posts you’ve come to expect on Tuesdays, followed by lighter posts on Thursdays to bring some levity to your week.
As always, we appreciate your friendship and generosity as we continue our commitment to paying staff salaries and healthcare benefits. And as David shared in a recent email communication to all staff, “Take care everybody! I’m already excited to see your smiling faces back here very, very soon.”
COVID-19 No More
I’m not one to engage in violence But to keep ya’ll from the ick You may see me stalk in silence The Covid for to lick
They say the secret to this is much bleach No virus can withstand it So I will hit every place I can reach Your health and mine demand it
Face masks won’t do the trick they say But you should wash your fingers And if you get sick at home please stay The symptoms tend to linger
So if you see me madly wiping Please know it’s for your good I’m not trying to join the scary hyping Just doing what everyone should
by David Benge
Erin Brasell’s Other Posts
Fifteen Months on “Dear Oregon”: Professional Time Travel During a Pandemic
June 15, 2021
OHQ’s White Supremacy and Resistance Special Issue: Now a Free Resource for Oregon
February 16, 2021
Announcing the 2020 Joel Palmer Award Winner
September 1, 2020
Summer Research Camp: Explore Oregon Historical Society Digital Collections
June 16, 2020
From Whence Did it Come and to Where Did it Go?: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Oregon
May 5, 2020
Look at What He Did! A Behind the Scenes Look at the Many Shades of Being Darcelle
September 3, 2019
When Nature Calls, Accession It!
July 23, 2019
Oregon History Day: It’s All About the Journey
May 14, 2019
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