TEXAS CITY, Texas – Life is slowly returning to normal after 16 months of the coronavirus pandemic, which means virtual learning, mask-wearing, visits through windows, etc., will be gone.
That’s why 82-year-old Okie Anderson wanted to create drawings that reflect life as it is today. She’s preserving the pandemic for generations to come.
“I would love to have something from my grandmother, great grandmother, about the Spanish Flu pandemic and so that’s what motivated me to start it, strictly for my family, not to for any commercial purpose or anything like that,” Anderson said.
Her family loves the drawings she’s created representing: job loss, visits through windows, meeting Santa Claus through plexiglass, among 15 other drawings.
Her daughter, Phyllis, contacted the Library of Congress in Washington, DC upon hearing they wanted to better archive art like Anderson’s.
“They didn’t keep anything of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 so they’re trying to rectify that by doing a COVID collection,” Anderson explained. “Library of Congress answered [Phyllis] and said ‘I find your mother’s drawings very intriguing.’”
Anderson will now donate her entire COVID collection to the library.
What started as a way to pass time during quarantine has turned into “a lot of excitement,” as Anderson said.
“I’m 82-years-old and I’m going ‘oh my gosh this is crazy!’” she laughed.
Anderson proves that dedicating time to what you love can spark joy when you least expect it.