Covid Class Essays to Be Published in NY Pandemic History Book


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The graduating class of 2021 experienced life during the pandemic that would be saved in history. Christian Durian and Charlie Love were students at Pace in 2021 and essays they wrote as seniors will now be showcased in a book, “Covid Chronicles-NYC: A History in the Words of New Yorkers” by Robert Snyder.

Click on the image to read Charlie Love’s essay, which will appear in the NYC pandemic history collection.

Thinking that writing their stories would help others through similar situations, Christain Durian and Charlie Love, using a pseudonym, wrote essays from the heart of their struggles during the height of the pandemic.

Robert W. Snyder is editing a history book through Cornell University Press, which will be published this summer. There will be other essays by students featured in the book as well as first person journals, illustrations, charts and graphs. Snyder says that it will be published in paperback.

Click on the image to read Christian Durian’s essay, which will appear in the NYC pandemic history collection.

Durian thought that writing the story about his neighbor felt amazing. “ I never thought my story would ever gain that much recognition,” he said.

Although he was hesitant, he did it to expose what is important to focus on when something bad happens. “I just wanted to write what I was feeling. As to why I was writing, it was mostly so I could just give myself a chance to remember all the great values of my neighbor and share with everyone.”

This record of human life of Covid Class 2021 started back in May 2021 when they were seniors. Durian’s loss of a second father and Charlie Love’s experience of homelessness was amplified during time of isolation.

These writers gave insight to their lives through essays and they gained a chance to share experiences during the height of the pandemic in order to gain closure.

Mr. Rohlfing and Mr. Rothschild taught a 12th grade English class in 2021, they had thought writing these stories would help students grieve through the same things that others go through. Both teachers created the website called Covid Class 2021 where the seniors’ display personal, analytical, and music essays.

Language created in the pandemic is how many students conversed with each other while dealing with the virus that impacted their lives. The lexicon in Covid Class 2021 goes alphabetically and is similar to a dictionary based on creative words many students felt were necessary to acknowledge.

Snyder is using the student lexicon to give examples and are chapter dividers in his book.

Snyder initially started talking with other historians about ways to showcase these ideas in April 2022 and what was originally going to be a big website turned into a book in order to devote more time to the project.

He said, “It’s important to get these things on a record. It’s very important that we feature and capture everyone entirely during the pandemic, and I wanted it to be something more.”