Museums and the world: how to deal with the pandemic Covid 19? How to ensure the continuity of the educational and social role of the museum? How to preserve museum collections in times of pandemic? How can communication with audiences be adapted to digital formats?
These are certainly just some of the questions that arise for professionals linked to museums and cultural heritage.
And this article is mainly a challenge for sharing experiences. In the comments, give your opinion on how to deal with the pandemic in the area of museums and cultural activities.
how to deal with the pandemic
In mid-March this year, people were forced to isolate themselves in their homes in the face of uncertainties brought about by the new Covid-19 virus.
The “second wave” of the pandemic is there with many countries returning to confinement. And we don't know when we will be able to breathe relieved with vaccines or with the "elimination" of the virus.
The new life, our new daily life is full of doubts: Will I be contaminated if I go to the market? If I get contaminated, will I be fine and have no sequels? Do I take risks if I go to a cultural activity?
how to deal with the pandemic | reinvent activities
Faced with so many questions and isolations imposed to protect ourselves, the world had to reinvent itself in economic activities and museums did the same. They expanded their virtual platforms, improved the alternatives of activities and exhibitions, increased their portfolios, brought teams together through appropriate applications for meetings and new actions. Finally, changes made to attract the public and encourage virtual visits as a form of culture, entertainment and leisure. It is a way to maintain psychological balance in this time of uncertainty.
how to deal with the pandemic | the impact
According to the International Council of Museums - ICOM - despite all this technological apparatus, unfortunately, some museums are unlikely to reopen and this will affect regions where these museums are recent and where their structures are still vulnerable.
And what about the Ecomuseums, which are based on interaction with the community and the participation of populations.
In many cases, funds were limited to carry out the maintenance of museum objects or purchase “new” ones. All the exhibitions that would take place had to be postponed and, with the isolation and the interruptions of activities, some institutions took the opportunity to carry out emergency reforms.
ICOM and the entities of the various countries published protocols for the reopening of museums and, thus, to protect their employees and the public. Some of these rules are: The mandatory use of masks; distance between 1.5m people; control of the number of visitors; constant cleaning of the rooms, access to alcohol gel on the premises, among others.
Guidelines for heritage conservation during the pandemic by Canadian Conservation Institute
download the original in English Caring for Heritage Collections during the COVID
how to deal with the pandemic | a testimony
In a conversation with the museologist Ana Silvia, do Oficina 3 Museológica,
she portrayed well the situation in which the Museums are currently in and what could help to understand how to live with the Covid 19 pandemic:
“It is difficult to talk about this, in addition to what we are all already learning and doing:
More frequent use of digital media to communicate with our audiences, at different levels of interest, using for example Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube.
Conduct virtual exhibitions that are virtual visits to existing exhibitions or exhibitions created especially for the virtual environment.
Share and acquire new knowledge through online courses and webinars.
Do not neglect safety and hygiene procedures, continue with fire, flood and xylophagous insect attacks, among other preventive procedures. ”
From these words, some aspects stand out.
Digital media should not be seen as a temporary replacement for the visit. They are a means of communication that will last beyond the end of the pandemic and will complement the process of interaction with the public. The challenge lies in the use of these means, readjusting the information process and creating specific content aimed at fulfilling the social and educational role of museums.
The Covid 19 pandemic dominates our lives and absorbs economic resources. But we must not forget that this is not the only risk. And that for the museum collections themselves the pandemic has no destructive effect. But other destructive risks continue to exist. Risk prevention and management, the safety of buildings and collections and preventive conservation are essential and cannot be overlooked.
Regardless of the companies and individuals that finance the museums, unfortunately, the economic impact of the pandemic will still affect some institutions, with the consequent reduction of employees and possible closure of activities. It is inevitable in the medium and long term, even with attempts to survive virtually.
However, there are some museums that present us with exciting novelties in a virtual environment and others that develop creative activities in the place, readjusting the spaces and the rules of operation.