Mar 3 2021

White Horse Village Residents Create a COVID-19 Time Capsule

White Horse Village is marking time! Residents have created a time capsule filled with messages and items from the COVID-19 pandemic. The capsule, stored in the community’s archives, will remain undisturbed until it is opened in 2030.

When the Resident Association came up with the idea of a pandemic time capsule, they turned to resident Sally Shabaker, a retired professional archivist. Shabaker and archive committee volunteers Barbara Dawson and Patricia Hibschman began working on the capsule in April. The project centered on the theme “Together, We Can,” a phrase that emerged during the early days of the shutdown as a term of encouragement for residents and team members.

“Little did any of us know just how deadly this strange and previously unknown virus would prove to be,” Shabaker notes. “Soon, it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic would be historically significant.”

The time capsule contains all too familiar pandemic items, including hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, toilet paper and a contact-free digital thermometer. Several masks made by the White Horse Village Quilters are also included, along with a comb and pair of scissors for in-home haircuts. “Newspapers, a COVID-19 timeline, a flash drive with multiple photos and five pages of jokes and cartoons are also inside.”

All the items have been carefully preserved using archival materials and stored in a beautifully crafted birch box made by White Horse Village woodshop volunteers. Marcia Hoover led the effort to build the box for the time capsule along with Charlie Bates, Larry Woodward and others.

“We are asking future residents who open the box in 2030 to return the items to the time capsule after they have examined the contents and perhaps laughed at the jokes, smiled at a photograph, or pondered the grim facts of the 2020 pandemic,” says Hoover.

The capsule will be locked and stored in the archives for another 15 years. The hope is that the residents who re-open the capsule in 2045 will learn how the residents of 2020 coped and survived.