Harker rising sophomore Rupert Chen recently created a website, called covid9teen, that lets teenagers from around the world share their stories and perspectives on life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chen hopes to document the experience of teenagers, as he feels that too much media coverage has focused on the perspective of adults. The site features an interactive map that users can click on to see the stories that have been shared. “The idea for the website came to me as I read the news about the pandemic,” he said. “That news was, not surprisingly, largely focused on the experiences of adults and how they were coping during this crisis. Even when stories focused on the experiences of teenagers, they were filtered through the eyes of adults.”
Since launching the website, Chen has received submissions from many countries, including Venezuela, Kenya, Italy, Russia, Singapore and New Zealand. “I have found that many teens quarantined at home have been eager to share their perspectives,” he said. His work also led to a collaboration with Stanford University’s Life in Quarantine project. “As the archive grows, I’m hopeful that it will play some role, however small, in writing the history of the pandemic,” Chen noted.