The book, Local Lives in a Global Pandemic: Stories from North Central Florida, is a collaboration of the Matheson History Museum and the Writers Alliance of Gainesville (WAG) and reflects more than a year of gathering stories, poems, photos, and paintings from people in our community, related to their experienced with, and reactions to, the COVID-19 epidemic.  Contributors include first responders, doctors, nurses, teachers, academics, writers, retired professionals, students, and more — all people from our community.

“We wanted to have people tell their own tales in their own way about how the pandemic impacted them and their families,” said Ronnie Lovler, a member of the board of both the Matheson and WAG and who was instrumental in getting this project off the ground. Lovler, Charles R. Cobb of the Matheson Board, and Pat Caren, and Mallory O’Connor, both of WAG, comprised the book’s four-person editorial team.

Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe wrote the introduction to the book.

The city of Gainesville provided some funding for the project. The book also received a grant from Satchel Pizza’s community grant program. WAG and the Matheson also contributed funds.

Hard copies of the book are available for sale for $15 in the Matheson gift shop. The book is also available online.

You can purchase a copy of “Local Lives in a Global Pandemic: Stories from North Central Florida” from the Matheson gift shop and on

Online Exhibition

Please enjoy the online exhibition that Executive Director Kaitlyn Hof-Mahoney created to showcase the submissions we received from the public for our COVID-19 Community Archive, which was the inspiration for the book.

You can view the online exhibiton here: