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:
I don't think too much about the economic impact, save for the cost of food going up. I do have some concerns for other people, who I know are worse off than I am.
I am lucky that I have an apartment I love. I was really smart when I chose it and also I'm so smart about the neighborhood I picked. Everything is so convenient-- the stores, the park, restaurants, etc. It is lively but not crowded, a nice feeling. My apartment has a lot of natural light and it is so cozy and comfy. I absolutely love it and staying home has been an absolute pleasure! I've made some pandemic additions such as a standing desk, de-cluttering, etc. Overall though, it is as cozy and wonderful as always :)
For the past three weeks, I've been watching the situation unfold in India with sheer horror. In 2018, I traveled to India where I met my brother's extended family. I have so many memories of Delhi - the overcrowding, the food (delicious!), the poverty, the huge concerns I had about being a woman there and the wonderful extended family I found there. I look back at my time there with thanks. I am happy to have gone but happy to be back in the United States.
So, I've been worried about that extended family. My brother's in-laws went back to India from March to April to help get the key family members vaccinated. I had hoped this would protect some but this week - my biggest fears were confirmed when my sister in law's 90 year old grandfather landed in the hospital on a ventilator.
Again, being well-connected in India has resulted in my grandfather in-law getting oxygen AND a semi-private room. We were even able to speak with him today. He sounded weak but he was alive. Which is more than I can say for many in India. I worry about this extended family.
I can see in my mind all the funeral pyres - the mass cremations, the lack of oxygen. I see it all and I cringe in horror. Absolute horror. When the pandemic first started, I worried more for India - consumed with the fear that something like this could happen - that the virus would spread and there would be no stopping it? How do you stop a bullet train going 100+ mph? Effort. It makes significant effort.
Meanwhile I sit here helpless - waiting for phone calls or text messages. All I can do is support from the sidelines.
I can feel that the coronavirus pandemic isn't worrying me too bad right now because it seems to be well on my end, and my family is all well, thank God. In terms of my academy, I would guarantee that the situation is not the same as it was before the coronavirus pandemic began, but right now I learned how to manage my time with online school. Bref, I can tell that my life is easier now than it was at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Writing these little essays each week is good for us.
Whether of not anyone ever reads what I write, just taking a few minutes to organize my thoughts is a benefit to me.
Creo que es difícil cuando uno se da cuenta de que ya no puede cuidar a quien o quienes cuidaba porque no tiene fuerzas y necesita más bien que otra persona cuide de uno. Eso me pasó a mí, por eso me mudé.
Y muy a pesar de que mi salud se ha deteriorado bastante, he sido muy feliz viviendo con mi mamá. No estamos de acuerdo en todo, pensamos de manera diferente, pero en la convivencia nos respetamos o evadimos esos puntos de contradicción, de tal forma que podemos acompañarnos, conversar, hacer cosas juntas, bromear, criticar... en fin, nos acompañamos.
La verdad este tiempo ha sido de lo más feliz que he conocido. No salgo a trabajar, trabajo desde la casa. No tengo la obligación de hablar con nadie. No tengo horarios rígidos. Si me siento muy mal, me puedo acostar sin dar muchas explicaciones. No tengo que salir y exponerme. Ha sido un tiempo muy bonito.
Debido a la pandemia, en los trabajos no me piden que me presenta a las oficinas, puedo hacerlo todo desde casa. Si hay reuniones, son virtuales. Se coordina todo por correo electrónico, whatsapp o llamada telefónica... para mí eso es genial. Entre menos contacto con la gente, mejor y más felicidad.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.... I'm dedicating this entry to all the moms and grandmothers out there who have given so much of themselves since February 2020 to care for children, partners, grandchildren, neighbors, friends, and even strangers, during a period of time that has challenged all that we took for granted. To be a mom is to hug, embrace, touch, rub a shoulder, pat an arm, hold a hand, wipe a tear, and coronavirus stole this from all of us. We moms collectively shopped for food and supplies that couldn't be found, cooked for full houses, cleaned excessively when we were told that was important, created school and work spaces out of already full homes; juggled work, school, caregiving; took in adult children and elderly parents. We ministered to the physical and emotional needs of our families.
Across 6 feet, and from behind masks, and over zoom calls, text messages, and phone calls, we leaned on each other, listened, and gave out virtual hugs and air kisses. We told each other that it is ok, you're doing fine, you don't have to do it all, you are keeping it together for now and that is enough.
Now with the wonders of science and the benefits of vaccinations, we feel a little lighter. A friend walked into my home today for the first time in 15 months, and we hugged.
Please, if you haven't been vaccinated, if you are on the fence, please, for all the moms and women in your life, get the shot. Help us all make our way back.
Well. Here I am in Germany, where I’ve been since August. I came here for a few days, and ended up staying for months. (I’m supposed to be in Paris, teaching at a university there, but…well. Here’s the letter I sent to a lawyer a week or so ago:
I am a British and American citizen, stranded in Berlin by COVID. I arrived before the 31st of December 2020, but was not able to get an anmeldung. I am a PhD student at an American university, and I have held a fellowship at a university in Paris since September 2019. It expires in August this year. I have been teaching classes for the French university remotely from Berlin since August 2020.
I had planned to declare residency in France, but I am at high risk for COVID, and am concerned that the case numbers are too high to fly back safely. I would like your advice on two questions:
1. What are the options for declaring residency in Germany?
2. What is the process for registering for an eventual vaccine appointment in Germany, and how do I do that, given my complicated residency situation? (Ideally, i would get vaccinated here and then fly back to France to declare residency before the June 30 deadline, but i don’t know how to go about it. ) I am aware that vaccines for my category are not yet available, but I’d like to know how to get on the list, and that seems to require residency. I appreciate that this may not be your specialty, but I would welcome any advice you have. »
If you have time to advise us, please let me know!“
So, I’m caught in the pincers of two world events: Brexit and Covid. I very much want to declare residency in Europe, but I’m in one country and my paperwork says I’m in another. I had expected the COVID-19 case numbers would drop ages before, or that the vaccination rollout would be faster. But, here I am, nose up against the deadline, and still not sure I can safely get back to France in time. It’s suspenseful!
Most of my friends have gotten the vaccines, and keep asking me if I got mine. I am avoiding making an appointment, mainly because I am afraid of what might happen to me. I live alone, and worry that I wouldn't be able to get help.
Also, I feel like the ones who have gotten vaccinated don't want to be around me, and I don't feel safe being around anyone. I just feel torn about what is the right thing to do - not sure if I can trust what the government is telling us.
Coy swim in safety
No Herons, raccoons around.
Just sun and cool breeze.
It's been a strangely tough week. I think it's even been a few tough weeks. My husband got his first shot this week and a lot of friends have also been able to secure their first shot (). I feel like I should feel excited and hopeful, but it seems like I have been stuck in this morose state. It's almost as if I don't allow myself to feel joy, because I feel like it will be taken away from me. Maybe this means that my resilience is starting to be wearing down thin, I'm not sure. In any case, I feel like my mood is not great and I don't feel motivated at all by anything, even the things that usually bring me joy, like cooking, or even eating. Maybe I'm worn out? I might need a change in scenery to get out of this funk.
I should be able to get my first shot in the next week or so, so maybe we could plan something to change things up. I might need some time to myself. It's been tough to work from home full time and being with the kids without ever having any break. I love them so much but we have had no help for the past year and with 2 kids under 4, it's very tiring.
I think that, from the perspective of an American, that the pandemic has really put a spotlight on the rot within American society. Poor people are more likely to get sick because they are "essential" and cannot simply stop working. Poor people are more likely to contract more severe cases of covid because, generally speaking, they are unhealthier than middle class and above Americans. Poor people are more likely to die from covid because they do not have access to decent medical care, assuming they can even find medical care at all. Too many Americans are suffering needlessly because they can't afford to go to the doctor. There are genetic components at works well, that we do not yet understand. But it is abundantly clear that this is a disease that, while it literally does not care at all who it infects, the treatment of the illness is vastly different based on wealth and community resource, which all too often means that POC get the shortest end of the stick.
I got my second vaccine last week. No big side effects. I feel so good knowing I'm protected. Life feels like it is starting to go back to normal. More people out and doing things-- I don't feel scared so much anymore going to restaurants, etc. I don't wear my mask outside all the time anymore. It feels good knowing that the government is doing its job. I'm happy that I live in a state where people are getting vaccinated. I'm happy that everyone in my family and most of my friends here are vaccinated. The only thing I am somewhat dreading is going back to the office.... hopefully it won't be soon.
I never imagined that I'd find myself in the urgent care this past week asking for a COVID-19 test but I was stressing that I was showing all the symptoms - exhaustion/lethargy and an overbearing cough. Even though I was exhausted, I walked around my neighbor anxiously awaiting the results of my COVID-19 test. I was going to blow a gasket if I had somehow contracted COVID after all this time. I mean, for god's sake, I was less than 10 days from my second shot.
When the doctor called me to say I was negative, I did a mini happy dance. Once again, I have outrun the RONA. But I also dreaded the fact that I was suffering from a mild cold. And the doctor told me the best medicine was "rest." Oh the irony. The one thing I don't have. Time to rest. Things have never been busier at work than right now. I have no time to be sick.
This meant that everywhere I went this week, strangers looked at me as if I was Satan's incarnate. Their angry eyes followed me, silently and then not so much judging me. Even when I wore a mask, I was still met with those stares. The ones that said "what the heck are you doing here? Get out."
My mom and I have been into an unhealthy discussion on the family's whatsapp group. It didn't affected us that much, once we don't really care about online swearing. But, the thing is my uncles were spreading fake news and supporting the president Bolsonaro with his denials about the dangerousness of the virus and the urgency of getting vaccinated. We usually don't like to talk about politics with our family, because they are to stubborn to listen to other's opinions, but this isn't just politics. We are talking about lives. The huge loss of lives in our country. I don't want the people close to me to realize how deadly this virus is only when they get sick or someone they love. Unfortunately and apparently, this is how things work in Brazil, so we were called names and decided to leave the group.
I never ever imagined, that in my wildest dreams, we’d be where we are right now. What a world we live in. It’s been a long week. It was our first week of having all of our students stuffed back into classes, the morale is really low at school y como si fuera poco, it was teacher appreciation week and I have never felt so unappreciated. It’s strange, really. I am not one to seek out support or love or accolades. However, seeing this sign, manipulated by someone in the community where I teach (used to read we love NAHS teachers), was a blow to the gut. I have given so much to teaching and to my students as I have this year... I wish I felt more from there. Anything really.
The situation in India is so upsetting right now. This has been something that has been bugging me throughout the pandemic. Though the explosion of cases came much later than expected, the degree of the destruction is still shocking. I can't help but feel sick about the privilege we have in western countries. Right now it's just shocking to see people at idiotic graduations, sports games, and concerts (in the case of England?) on the NYT home page right next to all the pictures of funeral pyres burning. I honestly feel so selfish and terrible that I got the vaccine and that things are opening up here, just because Americans honestly give zero shits about anyone except ourselves and we wanted to inoculate ourselves first. It felt terrible when dad's sister died just a month ago of cancer that wasn't getting treated because of the terrible healthcare in India, but what about now, with the thousands dying per day? We knew this was something just waiting to combust and lo, it did, and we're still sitting on our hands not doing anything about it. I just feel so empty when I hear news of it all... after oscillating between anger at the international community who didn't care enough to help India earlier and now, and anger at the Indian government and EVERYONE there who has refused to address the issues of healthcare, poverty, and building reliable infrastructure, much less the idiotic BJP.
been feeling a little less hopeless about life lately but covid is still a bit of a lonely world
The pandemic stopped me from repatriating to Canada. I began that process three years ago. I did leave California as a climate refugee and am living with my niece. I am so grateful I have this option.
But now my cousin is really sick with three known cancers and I need to get to Montreal to help her.
The Canadian government website has a lot of general information but the robot responses do not cover specific details. For instance, I am returning to Montreal in July. I have been fully vaccinated and if I need to quarantine son be it. BUT, my niece is driving the U-Haul with me and I need to know if she can come in for a few days to help me (I'm 71). Of course there is no one to answer that question.
Moving is such an ordeal, more so at my age. And that much more in a pandemic, AND crossing an international border too!
Yes, I am suffering from stress more than anything.
With lots of luck, we can get through this.
With wisdom, ward off more tragedy.
With love, alleviate suffering.
With faith, bring hope to humanity.
The economic impact of the pandemic has been on my mind because I live on a fixed income and many thing have drastically increased in price..
I used to get a haircut for10 dollars. My first haircut after vaccination cost18 dollar.
I shop at a discount store and get free food from the schools to stretch my dollar.
Housing too has gone up dramatically. I am fortunate I have a place to live. I don't think I will be able to move closer to my kids because house prices are too much. Just glad my current home is all one level with attached garage. I do worry about it needing a new furnace and appliances soon
I can’t understand someone who told me this week she will not get the vaccine because 3 people told her they were in bed for 2 days with after effects. My question ... So are they still alive?? Of course they were alive- I wanted her to think about that fact. I told her I it the 2 shots knowing I might have after effects but... I will be alive. Also I mentioned she is caregiver for boyfriend and dearly loves her sister. What happens if she gets covid- hospitalized and on a ventilator ??
Is not always a ME decision . Sometimes it’s a WE decision.
I have worked tiredlessly in my family tree and the family tree of many friends and family members, it has been a joy to put this together and to add photography and collages to each family member
Had to go into work this week. We work in masks all day and all regulations followed. Not fun to work 12 hours in a mask. Gave a talk for the Hospital residents in person with a mask on. Otherwise same old computer work from home.
My toddler and I have been monitoring the robin eggs in a nest on our back porch light for the last couple of weeks. We can’t see in but I could hold my phone up over my head and get a photo. The eggs hatched Apr 29th or 30th. The last time we checked, Monday, this nest held four little fledgling robins. Today the nest is empty. No mama bird in sight to yell at us. I don’t think the babies possibly could have been grown enough to fly away. Husband and I searched the tall grass next to the deck but didn’t see any indication the birds had leapt out. No carnage around the nest or the deck gives me hope they weren’t devoured. We told toddler that the birds moved to a new home. I hope that’s true but it seems unlikely. I suppose this has nothing to do with Covid, although I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole drama would have gone unnoticed if we’d been in our busy old lives…