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White Horse Village Residents Prepare a Unique COVID Time Capsule

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White Horse Village residents pictured with the COVID-19 time capsule are (left to right) Sally Shabaker, Barb Dawson, Marcia Hoover, and Larry Woodward. Image courtesy of White Horse Village.

The Newtown Square senior living community is ensuring that the pandemic isn’t forgotten by preserving significant items relevant to this unprecedented life-altering period in our history.

Masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, a thermometer—all are common household items that have taken on special meaning during the pandemic. These things will accompany personal messages and other artifacts in a COVID time capsule created by residents at Newtown Square’s White Horse Village senior living community. “Little did any of us know just how deadly this strange and previously unknown virus would prove to be,” says resident Sally Shabaker. “Soon, it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic would be historically significant.”

A retired archivist, Sally Shabaker first joined forces with fellow White Horse Village residents Barbara Dawson and Patricia Hibschman this past April to prepares the capsule’s contents. Led by Marcia Hoover, Charlie Bates and Larry Woodward, White House Village woodshop volunteers crafted a birch box to hold the artifacts, which also include newspapers, a COVID-19 timeline, a flash drive with photos, and five pages of jokes and cartoons. Its theme: “Together, We Can.”

The time capsule will be opened in 2030 and again 15 years later. “We’re asking future residents who open the box in 2030 to return the items to the time capsule,” says Shabaker, “after they’ve examined the contents and perhaps laughed at the jokes, smiled at a photograph or pondered the grim facts of the 2020 pandemic.”


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