The COVID-19 has had significant social and cultural effects: lockdowns broke social and cultural networks and habits and gave rise to new forms of communication, contact and inspiration. This paper analyses two citizen generated collections of experiences of the pandemic: the ‘Corona in the City’ collection, assembled by the Amsterdam Museum and the ‘Dagboek Corona’ collection of diary contributions by the Dutch public historian and journalist José Boon.  

The qualitative analyses of these collections demonstrate that the pandemic and the resulting lockdown of public life 

  1. Led to isolation, loneliness and lack of intimacy, 
  1. Generated new initiatives, creative solutions and wider social action to improve diversity and inclusion,  
  1. Made many appreciate what truly matters in life such as beauty of their environments and love for their family and friends, 
  1. Made social media an indispensable means of keeping in touch with loved ones and finding new friends and lovers 
  1. Led to acknowledgement that virtual contact could not replace the need for physical contact 

To dive into the full analyses and the datasets themselves, access the paper here