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

A turkey would’ve been too much for our small crew, so instead we smoked a chicken, which was AMAZING. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no need to go back, even with a bigger crowd.

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

I am writing this on Thanksgiving Day, 2020. This week the pandemic primarily impacted Thanksgiving, and how we decided to celebrate the holiday. My husband and I just finished our Thanksgiving dinner for 2. We spent the day preparing it, and really enjoyed ourselves. I must admit, we were pleased with how it turned out.

I was also reflecting on last Thanksgiving and how different this year is. Last year we hosted 13 people and 3 dogs. Our house was full of people, dogs and good cheer. We have a video of everyone at the table, busy talking and laughing. It was a truly wonderful and memorable day. This day was memorable, too, in a much smaller and quieter way. I do look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving again with our extended family, especially our children. However, I feel like we made the best of the situation this year, staying safe and keeping others safe, as well.

One last note. I really missed my father today. He died 2 months ago. Although we didn't spend Thanksgiving with him since my mother died 7 years ago, I always spoke to him on Thanksgiving and we exchanged cooking tips and how the food came out. He was a really difficult person who could become enraged very quickly. I do not miss that part of him at all. However, when engaged around food and cooking, we could have nice conversations, especially when he was sharing tips with me. He made the best stuffing ever - pictured above. He always added apples, raisins and nuts. I hadn't had it in a long time but I found the recipe he dictated to me about 1 year after my mother died. I followed his recipe today, and it was almost as good as his It felt like a little bit of his good side was with us today.

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

Finding new hiking paths

Near our home

Throwing bits of carrots

Bunnies have a treat.

Hiking past old dams

Marveling at stone walls

The sun sinking westerly

We hurry before the datk.

A bone carved long ago

As I transversed a path

This bone configured clearly

By ancient tribal hunter.

Before the stone walls set

Long ago, many sunsets past

The bone was carved to use

Hunting across this land.

Perhaps a call is due

Finding bone provenance

Could it truly be sacred?

Sacred in such an early life?

The spring water rests up

Pressure against the dam

I rush home and can finally paint

A blossom in covid times.

In the time of elections

We are free from oressured hatred

A regime that never spoke to me

Now I can paint and dream.

I dream of the carver who made

This bone tool for his use

His land now safe from harm

New leadership protect the land!

I wandered into my thoughts - ferling happier today!

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

From the outside I would say I appear healthy. I’m young, exercise regularly, and generally eat plant based Whole Foods, mainly fruits, vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, and whole grains. But on the inside? That’s a whole different story. And honestly that’s what’s so deceiving about diet culture. I might appear physically healthy but inside I still experience anxiety and depression. There are days I don’t want to get out of bed. Weeks, actually. I am grief-filled, easily irritable, and unsatisfied with my life. The majority of these issues (and healthier habits too) have come about because of the pandemic. I started watching a lot more wellness and lifestyle videos online and have become inspired to join the movement for intuitive eating. I’ve become inspired to love my body and exercise to show it love. But I’ve also become miserable, torn away from my friends and school life, isolated, and hopeless. It’s crazy how this pandemic has truly been the best of times and the worst of times, all in one.

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

We unofficially canceled our trip to visit my parents for Christmas. I’m sad but also relieved. Best case scenario no one gets sick but we’ve still contributed to statistics about how many dummies crisscrossed the nation spreading COVID. Worst case scenario I get my parents sick with unthinkable consequences. Nope. So we’re staying home. A little part of me is excited to set up our little tree and let our toddler and her bubble friend decorate it and drink hot cocoa from their matching mini mugs I just ordered. Here’s to new traditions like it or not!

Talk about any major life events, milestones, or other important things in life that have been disrupted by the pandemic.

A friend from Massachusetts sent the dog toy Trimp ladt Spring. This character who spouts our fear and fake claims has impacted my life by his failed leadership. He is a limp toy my dog tosses around. At times I feel sorry for this dog toy because it was shped in the likeness of such a hideous individual. My life has bern impacted physically - I want tto toss yhis toy across the room. My dog plopped it before me as I contemplated the email announcing my orthopedic surgeon was leaving hiscgroup practice - I am panicked because he will replace my shoulder but I have drlsyed the date with the third wave of covid crashing over the country makinf elective surgery a luxury reserved gor other countries, not ours. My dog knows I am upset - I want this surgeon but until next werk after Thanksgiving nothing is certain - I want to rip this toy to shreds - my health is impacted by the fool who lived on the hill in the White House.

Some people have reported that their dreams have gotten more vivid, or that they’ve had an unusually strong sense of God, or felt the presence or heard the voice of departed loved ones—has anything like that happened to you? If it has, tell us about it.

Ever since my grandmother passed away this april due to covid I have always worn the rosary that she gave me, for some reason everytime I am home alone or outside I feel like I am being watched. I get the shivers for some reason. Since there could not be a proper funeral she wanted to be cremated. my family plans on sending her ashes with her mom at puerto rico but for now she's in my parents room so it just feels odd that my grandmother is in a box at home but I feel it as though that she is in piece

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

Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving! It is a little different this year with the pandemic, but we all have something to be thankful for. It's very frustrating for me this year to see people who don't understand why we can't gather in big groups. They almost want to do it to be defiant. So many hard working people trying to fight this pandemic and there are others not willing to give up one large holiday gathering. Be safe and smart people!

Are you doing anything artistic or creative these days that you weren’t doing before? If so, tell us about it.

The pace of my life has slowed down so that I’m viewing details of things I would have passed over before Covid. I’m doing a lot of photography and zooming in on things that would have escaped notice before. When I was taking this picture I was first trying to get the quiet peace of a cow standing in the field. Zoom in to the calm nonchalance of the head close enough to pet. Zoom in on the gentle eye “the key to the soul”. With that notion, I “zoomed” in further and realized I could see my reflection on the surface of her eye. Trying to capture that shot was hard as the close proximity of the camera blocked my features leaving a blur of color and much subtler image than I’d hoped for. Each picture is supposed to tell a story and this was ours. Two beings with nothing but time to observe each other. I had the advantage, and burden, of documenting this extraordinary moment all due to the fact that so many other distractions of my usual life have been stripped away and I have time to stop and notice, and really see things around me.

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

A few days ago, on the first day of Thanksgiving break, I decided to drive to the airport to watch the planes land and take off. The drive was longer than expected, and once I got to the free parking lot, I couldn't really see much of the airport or tarmac through the grated fence. However, when I was on the highway near the airport, I saw a glimmer in the sky from a plane that had just departed, and that got me really hopeful and excited. I think a plane took off as I was turning in to the parking lot, but I couldn't stop to take a look because I had to make a crazy hairpin turn. I saw 2 planes take off and 2 planes land in total. The cell phone lot is the perfect place to see incoming planes, and the first plane I saw come in was a beautiful blue Southwest Airlines plane. I saw it at a perfect, beautiful profile side angle. I couldn't see the departing planes that well, but I got very excited when their engines revved and when I saw them take off into the sky. It was dusk by the time I left, and the last plane I saw come in looked like a bright, distant star or streetlight as it flew in from a distance. Surprisingly, it was an Amazon prime cargo plane. I didn't expect to see those types of planes come in to Bradley, but with it being the only major airport in the state, I guess it makes sense in hindsight.

I didn't feel the exact sense of excitement that I was hoping for when going to the airport, as I thought I would feel like I was travelling myself and have the same excitement and energy as if I was going somewhere. However, I still felt good for going to the airport, and I was really happy and excited whenever the planes came and went. I did have some minor car trouble when leaving though, and it made me realize just how difficult it is to find a place to pull into to check your car out without being on the side of a major road.

Going to the airport made me want to travel for real and get 100% of the experience and excitement instead of just looking from afar.

¿De que manera el coronavirus le está afectando su vida en este momento? Cuéntenos sus experiencias, sensaciones/emociones, y pensamientos.
Talk about what brings you happiness these days.

My family brings me happiness especially during covid because since I can't see my family when we all get on zoom I get to see my family see how they are doing. I get to see the joy of my family. I enjoy talking to my family also they are a strong support system because I can go to them for anything. Having a home and being stable also bring me happiness because I know that right now some people are struggling so I don't take anything for granted.

Has anything in your life or experience prepared you for a time like this? If so, tell us about it.

no. i don't think you can be "prepared" to being closed in you home. it doesn't matter how many hobbies you have, or how well you can entertain yourself. when you don't have the option to go out, it is just a prison.

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

It’s thanksgiving tomorrow and I usually travel by Greyhound to visit my brother and his family in Holland MI

Not going this year and will spend thanksgiving alone with a bottle of white Zinfandel , a pumpkin pie and my cat Willow.

Am thinking of all the things I have lost this year including my sense of safety: my mom, a favorite cousin, the bike trail along Muskegon Lake is flooded, coffee shops closed, public library has pick-up only (thank goodness for that), my writers group disbanded, fear of getting on public transportation and I have no car. And just chatting with people I met during the day in my apartment building, wandering around the city, and hanging out at the local coffee shop.

We had our first snow yesterday and it was beautiful but a warm front blew through and it is all gone this morning, Rain and clouds expected today and the gloomy weather does nothing for my mood,

And the fear that every persons path you cross could be harboring a deadly virus is unnerving to say the least. I’m emotionally exhausted,

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

So far this week I have been trying to get my hands on the new playstation 5 and let me tell you it has been so difficult and tiresome. It released on the 12th and I literally still don't have it. Scalpers and bots have been taking everything it has really been a emotional rollercoaster trying to obtain one. So instead of draining my mind into obtaining my console I go out and do photographer out in new york too relive my mind and just wait until they stock it again.

Some people are feeling intense feelings right now. Is anything making you especially sad right now, or especially angry? If so, what's on your mind?

I am a sad medical student left behind, because I am not ready to help yet.

I am sad daughter fighting with my parents, because everyday contact is not good for anybody. I am also a sad daughter seeing my parents worried and angry because the banks won't freeze the loans, even though no monei is really moving in the market. They must be thinking we have a chicken that makes golden eggs, or the tree that Pinocchio wanted to find, that grows gold in its roots. Because wherelse do people find the money to pay loans when the part of the world that doens't include great forces and capitals, is forzen.

I am a sad friend, who can't speak on the phone anymore, because my head hurts. They tell us (I am sure they are laighung internally saying it), "When all this is over, you will find out which relationship was worthy to last and which not".....Come on, government...You became the lady in the gossip magazine with the relationship advice.

I am a sad lover, who normally leaves abroad and came to my homeland to see my person and now we can't meet anyway.

I am a sad and angry citizen, whose rights are being violated and who can't fight the police that beats us in every oportunity.

But I am not angry with corona at all. Corona is not some invisible enemy like the mass media are keep saying. It is a virus, not even a living organism, who caught us by surprise...once again. Because history repeats itsslef, but apparently nobody read their history books, or literature books, or watched any good movies when they should. And now everyone is blaming each other and all together are blaming Corona. But it is convinient blaming some RNA molecules, isn't it?

What are the main things you’ve been doing to avoid COVID-19? Have you made any big changes in what you’re doing recently? If so, why?

I was never a huge "going out" person. I went to parties, sure, but I never was one for a big group or outing. Last year I started craving it. And early this year I started doing it. Going out, having fun, hanging out w absolute strangers.

Now that's all gone. People still do that, people I know that is. But I'm no longer comfortable with it. My roommate bringing a date home is enough for me to grab the lysol.

I feel devoid of human connection. I know we're all experiencing the same thing, but somehow it's different, empty. As if I'm moving through life in a fog that won't lift.

¿De que manera el coronavirus le está afectando su vida en este momento? Cuéntenos sus experiencias, sensaciones/emociones, y pensamientos.

Los ansiedad por saber que alguien más de mi familia se contagie otra vez de covid se ha vuelto parte de mi rutina diaria en estos días, pero como cualquier inconveniente, hacemos lo mejor que podemos para salir adelante.

Este día decidí poner a mi gato como foto porque... me gustaría ser como él. Me sorprende su capacidad de comer, dormir y estar tranquilo en los días más sombríos y acercarse con las personas que más ama para recibir su dosis de caricias.

Pero, así como el es tranquilo, también es capaz de transmitirme esa paz indescriptible, y cosas como esa es lo que me ayuda a levantarme y pensar en el futuro

Have any government policies had a direct impact on your life lately? If so, talk about the policy that’s affected you most and the impact it’s had.

The mask wars are still on going in Michigan, in Muskegon where I live and in my senior citizens apartment building, Someone on NPR said that if 95% of Americans wore masks, we could get the virus under control

But mask wearing has about 50 % compliance rate in my apartment building ..even the building manager seldom wears one. He wore it below his nose when I had to met with him in a small office for apartment recertification in late October,

Residents constantly put a mask on the statute of Charles Hackley, a lumber baron , who built our city in the 1890s. City officials remove it and its back in within a day or two, ..a constant reminder of the mask wars,

I have only confronted two people in building about it. One said she was on the phone and the other said it was in his pocket. Don’t know if it is stupidity or defiance of the governors mandate to wear a mask.

Cuéntenos de qué le trae alegría o felicidad en este momento.

Me trae felicidad el saber que de a poco todo se va normalizando y mi hija podrá disfrutar del jardín, parques, globos inflables, cumpleañitos, todo lo que antes era común, normal y que x casi todo un año se perdio

During this pandemic, people are looking for guidance and support in different places. Talk about where you've been looking for support, and how helpful (or not helpful) these sources have been to you.

Dr. Fauci and the rest of the professionals for guidance and support.

Randy Rainbow for a little comic relief - find his videos about Fauci - they are wonderful.

GEE, ANTHONY FAUCI! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody on youtube.com

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

Well, I spent my time pleading with some old friends not to go to TG at their daughter's house this year due to travel, surge of infected persons, and increased risk of contracting COVID-19. No luck - they are making the journey from central PA to NY city area. I just don't understand why anyone would take that risk - especially older adults at risk.

We all mutually decided not to get together this year. It's sad but it's best not to take that risk. We can FaceTime a bit.

Feeling optimistic about the vaccines. Feeling pessimistic re this crazy surge in cases.

My sister, a nurse, was exposed where she works - she had on the full preventive outfit, but it's still kind of scary.

During this pandemic, people are looking for guidance and support in different places. Talk about where you've been looking for support, and how helpful (or not helpful) these sources have been to you.

As a matter of fact I just started in a women's spiritual group. We meet twice a week! I feel it's where I need to be right now. 😁

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

It's getting bad in North Carolina, with my county, which was once not considered a "hot spot" now "catching up and getting ahead,"-- in the orange zone, compared to some places that were hit badly earlier that are now merely in the orange zone. And with Thanksgiving upon us, it's getting potentially scary. The governor now (who thankfully has been re-elected) at least is tightening up regarding masks and other restrictions, though I wonder if it will be enough.

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

My beloved aunt is waiting for a place in a hospice facility. It's hard to think about much else. Not sleeping well, not able to concentrate. Very relieved that at least the government transition has begun.