Featured Entries

Each week, we post a few journal entries that participants have given us permission to share anonymously.

In your journal, you can write whatever you want, however you want. When we feature posts, we want to protect confidentiality. Here's our policy:

  • We won't post any photos that include faces (even with masks!) or names.
  • We won't post audio that includes names or more than one voice.
  • We might edit text entries slightly to remove proper names – but this won't change anything you've written in your journal.
Additional Material

Love this mural I saw in Somerville, MA. Not sure exactly when it was painted, but this image, and the power and energy it conveys, are something beautiful to have come out these pandemic times, right?

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

Clearly we bought too many clorox wipes in March 2020. There are still three containers left in my garage. There was so much unknown in those days, we wiped down everything that came in our house because we were afraid of surface transmission.

I’m still anxious but now it’s about a whole different set of unknowns. It seems like many people we know are getting Covid, and I keep hearing similar stories. Someone comes down with symptoms and tests negative on a rapid test for a couple of days before a test shows up positive. I’ve also heard several people say, “It’s just a cold. I took a test yesterday” with no awareness that the test is just a moment in time, with no idea they could be walking around with active and contagious Covid. With a couple of friends I’ve suggested a second test, even dropped off an extra test for one friend. In another case, a friend’s child is planning to fly home tomorrow even though he has Covid and he hasn’t waited 10 days as recommended by the CDC. Society’s Covid choose-your-own-adventure seems almost as silly as wiping down all the groceries. So many people just don’t care, and it makes the world a scarier place for those of us who do.

Do you feel more healthy than you did at this time a year ago? Less healthy? About the same?

My mental health has definitely suffered due to Covid. Time, however seems more fluid, I don't remember what I was doing or how I felt on this day last year. I just remember pre-Covid and post -Covid (or at least post-Covid restrictions). I feel like everything that involves being around strangers, especially indoors, is just too hard.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

My father in law might have Covid. If not Covid then a nasty cold. He has a bad cough and is worn out. Hopefully he will get his PCR result this morning and they’ll put him on paxlovid right away if he is positive. My mother in law had a mild but still nasty case of Covid earlier this spring and he avoided getting it then. I hope this is just a nasty cold—I am worried about his lack of concern for taking better care of his health catching up with him otherwise. Feeling oddly calm despite there worry. I guess a combination of knowing there are drug therapies available now and the acceptance that there’s nothing I can do but cross my fingers.

Talk about about something that has changed in your life in the last few months.

Not much has changed except that people are getting back to normal life. Mask mandate has ended here. More people are going out and having gatherings including weddings, funerals, parties and other celebrations. The overall fear of COVId has decreased. Travel has increased.

One difference is that we are finally testing all of our patients for COVId on admission. But not their partners. And not the staff. So we still have to wear masks at work.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I saw this sign yesterday. To me, this faded sign represents the perfect image for how most people feel about the pandemic: fading from everyone’s collective minds, part of the past and something that’s been forgotten to take down. However, the sad truth is that’s it’s still very much with us and will be for a long time. We’ve just collectively decided that we don’t care. Just yesterday I learned that my sister’s law firm partner has long COVID and she is barely able to work. People dismiss COVID as mild but the reality is that we will see a lot of unnecessary suffering, be it long COVID or deaths, because of our collective choices and our refusal to implement long term measures (like ventilation, etc). Some days I’m just so discouraged at the state of the world. It feels like we can’t do anything right. The feeling is obviously exacerbated by all the other events happening around the world (Ukraine, school shootings, climate change, etc.). It’s depressing to see that we are incapable to do anything long term if it’s too inconvenient. Even medium term is unbearable to us as a society. We are so privileged and allergic to change, we’d rather be in a bad status quo than do anything about it.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I’m a senior and have always been cautious about where I go alone. But when Covid started in 2020 I had to learn to stay home alone, and only go out when absolutely necessary. Wave after wave of thinking Covid was going away, now there were vaccines, people could safely meet outside. But then the next Covid variant that was more dangerous than before and back to staying home alone again.

After two years I’ve become agoraphobic, not going out even for everyday familiar things. I’ve worked with a professional to try to be brave and go outside for only 5 minutes, but I’ve hardly managed to do that regularly. I’ve been fortunate and haven’t caught Covid at all.I look outside from my balcony and see others walking their dog, meeting friends outside. I want to go outside to enjoy beautiful weather but it’s so hard to do. I’m very frustrated and worried.

Has the pandemic affected your relationship with pets or other animals you take care of?

I worked from home for a year and a half, from March 2020 to July 2021

I spent a lot more time with the chickens and the cat

It may have made me a better pet owner because I felt more attuned to their needs

This spring my friend gave me 6 new pullets to add to my existing flock of 4 hens

I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of watching them grow and interact

Definitely pets helped me get through the pandemic

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

We were able to watch an all female airshow safely outside, with lots of people flanking us but socially distanced. It was nice to attend a big event even if it was at a distance!

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

My son got married last weekend - a momentous event in his life and ours. On the Save the Date card sent out several months ago, they requested that people attending be vaccinated. As far as I know, only one person declined - his cousin. The threat of Covid was definitely in the air, but in most ways the wedding proceeded as weddings pre-Covid had.

There was some worry that it could be a “super spreader” event, but fortunately it wasn’t. 2 people tested positive the day after the wedding, but no one else did.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but in many ways the wedding wasn’t like pre-Covid weddings. For me, there was the awareness that we could all make each other sick. I have never worried about that before Covid. If someone was getting a cold or flu, others might get it, but probably be would be okay. Now there feels like more responsibility in gathering together and protecting others, especially the elderly and other higher risk people.

In spite of this, it was a magical day !

What would you say has changed most about the world since the pandemic began?

So much has changed! Many people are no longer here. It feels like an awareness about how easily diseases can be spread is definitely present. In the US, and perhaps elsewhere, the country feels so divided on many issues, and Covid definitely contributed to that. There are shortages of gas, and some very unusual things that I have run into - pasta, certain brands of pet food, etc. The pandemic laid bare the differences that people experience in their lives based on race, geography, income, education, etc. Also, our interdependence upon each other at a global and an interpersonal level has really struck me.

On a personal note, I had to have an MRI done after injured my hand during a fall. I was struck by how long it took to schedule the MRI and then the wait to actually get the MRI. When I was at the MRI facility, I was struck by how short staffed they were. I wonder if the medical community, as well as many other types of jobs, will recover after all of this.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

Ten days after the slaughter targeting Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York came the slaughter of schoolchildren and their teachers in Uvalde, Texas. The Onion, a satirical news publisher, has a particular scathing joke they bring out for these occasions, a headline that reads "'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens."

I haven't thought much about the pandemic this past week, I've just continued staying home as much as possible, and masking when I must go out.

Thank you again for this project. Be safe out there.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I can’t think about Covid. I can only think about the school shooting in Texas. My little inconveniences mean nothing in comparison.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

Today my mind was more worried about Texas than COVID.

Earlier this week I was more worried about Monkey Pox than COVID.

Last week I was more worried about the potential abortion ban in the US than COVID.

A month and a bit ago I was more worried about Ukraine and Russia than COVID.

I guess COVID is something that we just live with now.

I went to shul this past shabbat and didn't wear a mask for the first time. I also went to the shopping centre and didn't wear one either. I felt like I should, but I didn't want to - so I didn't.

I hope that it is not careless or reckless.

My parents were able to make it to London to meet their new granddaughter. So far they are ok. They seem to have aged quite a bit since I last saw them in October. I hope and pray that COVID doesn't get them -- especially as they both have other health issues. I know that my mom is still on the 'front lines' as she teaches in a school and no one wears a mask anymore.

So maybe this is how it is in the 'after'? Or perhaps we are just 'done' with COVID, trying to go 'back' (not that i really think we can), and just hoping another wave comes. Or perhaps we are used to COVID and now there are all these other 'worse' things happening, so that is our new focus.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

My husband had COVID a couple of weeks ago, and even when he was feeling well enough to eat downstairs, he isolated at the far end of the dining room table. It felt like the King's Court, and although we found comedy in it, it grew old after a while.

As much as i want all of this to be over, it just isn't. Today my car repair shop cancelled my appointment and has closed indefinitely, due to COVID cases among the staff. Is this just how it's going to be from now on?

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

My grandson who lives on the west coast graduates from high school tomorrow. I will not be attending the ceremony which I had so looked forward to. Travel to the west coast by any means is a sure fire way for me to become infected with the newest variant of Covid. As a 75 year old with chronic health issues I must be extra vigilant but I am devastated to miss this important event in my grandson’s life.

He will be one of two class valedictorians and will receive an award which will be presented to him this evening in an awards ceremony. My heart and soul will be there but my body will remain on the east coast defeated by age, health and the fear that comes with the coronavirus. I am only one of a multitude of grandparents who will miss important events like this and it saddens me that so many of us are affected by complex consequences.

To my own grandson and all grandchildren who graduate from high school this year, I say aim high, be brave, have strength, follow your dreams and help to make our world a better place. God bless you all.

Covid not only restricts travel…long held expectations which I and others had, never comes to fruition.

We learn to live with Disappointment and vanquished dreams because they are the constant in our lives during the time of Corona. May God bless us all.

What would you say has changed most about the world since the pandemic began?

I don't exactly know how to put my finger on it, but I feel like there is now more of a disconnection between people, an erosion of community, and more individuals who only seem to be looking out only for themselves. That general idea seems to be applicable in almost any area of troubles: worsening climate change; increased numbers of people who are struggling with mental health issues; increased violence, particularly with the number of homicides and increased number of mass shootings across the U.S. I fee like that main theme runs through the problems we're struggling with in our country and around the globe.

Would you describe yourself as someone who’s flourishing at this point in your life? Why or why not? If this has changed during the pandemic, talk about what’s changed.

I would describe myself as someone who is flourishing at this point in my life. There are many factors: a stable and supportive family, kids who are doing well, a stable job with reliable income, a good social network. I also realize that I am very fortunate and that some or many of these factors are lacking for large parts of the population and that there is lot of suffering.

This picture is a family portrait with button faces my six-year-old son made it. If I think of flourishing, this is what I think of.

Talk about how the events of recent months have affected your financial situation.

I'm tired of being broke and not being able to pay my bills and jumping from job to job. Working from home has become more of an inconvenience in my life than not having a job. I hate all of it

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I have covid.

my husband got sick a few days ago and tested positive and now I'm feeling sick..

Sore throat, headache, body pain.

I don't feel as worried about getting seriously sick as when I got Covid before I got vaccinated, back in 2020.

I have a zoom meeting with my father this morning, and his financial advisor. I hope I don't feel too sick to concentrate.

Luckily I was careful and didn't go and visit my father on Monday like I usually would.

I made an appointment with a new therapist, which I had to postpone as well.

I'm feeling pretty crap. I hope it doesn't last too long.

What do you think was the biggest news issue this past week -- either in your community, nationally, or globally?

Finding a robin’s egg is usually a sure sign spring is here. CoVid was supposed to be gone, instead there’s an uptick… I know 6 people that have tested positive for CoVid in the last two weeks. So, instead of focusing on the blue of the shell, the birds singing, and the promise of better weather it’s a cruel reminder of broken dreams and how fragile life really is.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

Tired but grateful to have such a wonderful family to be with as we celebrate my partner and I getting married soon. A lovely bridal shower full of drama, love, kindness, and of course great memories.

How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting your life right now? Tell us about your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.

I am seeing a therapist and new medical oncology team. It is a challenge to start new, I don’t like being unable to shake hands or give/receive a hug, keep separation, etc.but for the circumstances it continues to be necessary.

I was at Mass this week, and an older/mentally-challenged woman reached out her hand for the peace greeting. It’s been the new “tradition” during COVID noto to shake a bunch of hands. And being a high-risk immune-compromised person I always wear a mask, avoid shaking hands or hugging/close contact. This woman became outwardly offended that I wouldn’t shake her hand, and stomped off, saying something like, “I won’t accept that as your peace!” I felt so bad for unintentionally offending her. I stopped her after Mass to explain my personal situation and apologize. I think she understood, and was forgiving. I hope we can bump elbows if I see her again.

We hear a lot about the economic impact of the pandemic. Has this been on your mind? If so, share some of your thoughts.

yeah it has been on my mind. the gas prices are going up/ it's over $4 a gallon, food prices are going up and I am on very limited income. a check once a month, and once all bills are paid i am lucky to have $100 left for the rest of the month. for june i will only have $79 to last me a month.

Has the pandemic changed your views on human rights issues in any way? If so, tell us about it.

I think that the pandemic has expanded my understanding of what I consider to be human rights issues. Prior to the pandemic, I considered the right to work as a human rights issue. Now, I also consider the right to not work, especially during states of emergency, as a human rights issue. So many essential workers had to keep working not just because of the nature of their work, but because they receive such little pay that they couldn't afford any cuts to their paycheck.

< I also consider the right to work remotely a human right as well. People with disabilities have requested such accommodations for a while, but were told that it wasn't possible or appropriate. This pandemic has shown that we do a lot of unnecessary travel for work and that the work space isn't necessary. Of course, that doesn't dismiss those who may not have the space to work from home, the increasingly blurred line between home and work, and the fact that some people work better outside of the home. People should have the right to choose how they work if they have a job that doesn't rely on place.