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Sarpy County Museum’s COVID-19 exhibit grows

Published: Jul. 21, 2020 at 9:51 PM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - It was four months ago when we told you about the artifacts that the Sarpy County Museum was searching for; items that told the story of the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum’s director has had time to collect some items and spoke about what the museum is still missing and what it has so far.

Masks and toilet paper tell the early story of the pandemic nationwide. The museum has gotten plenty of those things from Sarpy County residents.

But tickets to the events that never happened are some of the things that will help to better remember what’s happened so far in southeastern Nebraska.

“The Nebraska Red and White game, symphony tickets for events at the Holland, that didn’t end up happening,” said Ben Justman, the museum’s director.

These are just a few of the things Justman has received so far.

“We’ve seen letters from Nebraska Medicine when this all started. Warning of ‘hey, there might be this issue related to COVID and cruise ships, so we’re just letting you know as a patient,” he recalled.

How little was known just four months ago is exactly what these items can be reminders of.

The COVID-19 collection can be seen when visitors walk into the museum.

Some of the things include newspaper clippings when Nebraskans started adjusting to some of the changes.

Justman says he has plenty of some types of items, and instead wants something else.

“Journals would definitely be welcomed, short little narratives that don’t have to be in a leather-bound book,” he said.

When a bag of toilet paper was donated, Justman says the person claimed one roll on the left was post-pandemic while another was pre-pandemic.

“Hopefully it will be a good, lasting footprint to tell of what’s going on,” Justman said.

Those journals Justman was searching for could be Facebook statuses or anything you write about your day.

Also, cities in Sarpy County plan on donating city signs once they’re not needed.

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