Each week, we post a few journal entries that participants have given us permission to share anonymously.
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Today we painted rocks and it reminded me of things we used to do when we were stuck at home early in the pandemic. Crafting at home is much more fun when we can also choose to be out doing other things! This little project seems to represent a turning point for us. So much of our life feels normal again because all of our friends are vaccinated and we can spend time with the people we love.
The biggest news event is that the US is getting into multilateral agreements with other countries to help vaccinate the world!
I wrote about this in my previous entry. Lots of family and friends in India, weary of the pandemic, so many people still dying and suffering and getting sick. Our immediate family still ok, but lost a dear cousin at age 40 this week, a young mother and working woman. Devastating loss for us all. Our immediate family is ok in terms of money and food and everything, but it's mentally taxing. Hard to get vaccines, shots delayed or not available. We desperately need global vaccine equity.
In my community of recovering addicts and alcoholics, I felt like we really pulled it together when covid happened. We understand and know that if we don't have human connection we are more likely to self destruct by using substances. We quickly assessed meetings on zoom and soon there was a whole slew of meetings all throughout the day and a few at night. There's international ones, in our country, state, and small community. We put together face groups communicating and reaching out to one another, organized chairs for meetings, put together openers, closers and prayers for the meetings that we would do in regular meetings. It was different, but we did the best we could to make it like a normal meeting. Believe it or not, I met a lot of people in my community that I haven't ever seen before, just because maybe we go to different groups here in town (there's quite a few different NA and AA groups in each town). Numbers were high for those meetings for awhile, but as soon as we could get back into the rooms, we did. Now here is where the problems started, when to go back, how many people in the room, enforcing masks and so on. The problem with this was, so you could only allow ten people in a room for awhile, well who would be the person to tell that 11th struggling addict they had to leave? This was a problem for our community because we know very well what the cost is of something like this. We know it doesn't take much but one bad decision to end up with death. And at the time, it was likely people relapsing, jails were closed, drug testing for the courts was closed (which I have never seen in my life). There was ample reason and opportunity to relapse, and could live with yourself if you were that person to tell one struggling to leave? I know I couldn't. Meetings are vital to our community and to recovery people. They are a lifeline, a means to live through an hour, a minute, a day. It's what keeps us sane, clean and healthy, one day at a time.
The split between the haves and have nots has become more pronounced - This observation refers to countries as well as groups in the US. We cannot forget that COVID is still raging across the world, especially in what we call "third world countries." The US, with all of its resources, has been able to put a dent in the disease, with diligence and good leadership. It is still the case in the US that the poorest among us have not yet been vaccinated. These include those who depend on hourly employment and cannot afford to take time off to get the shot, or worry about getting sick after the second shot and cannot risk missing work. We are beginning to see a racial gap between those who have been vaccinated and those who are not. I read that Hispanics are the largest group WANTING to get vaccinated, that has not yet been able to do so.
This is a vax site near my house. It's been there all week and been empty like this. This makes me so sad. And angry.
We (USA) are sitting on so many vaccines and people here are not taking them, while all over the world people need them.
My sister in the UK JUST got her first shot and has to wait until Sept for #2. My friends in Spain, still waiting for theirs. A friend in Ireland still not vaxxed. Never mind what's unfolding in Latin America and what's about to hit Africa (Can you say Delta Variant?).
I can't wait for the vaccines to receive full authorization so that places can mandate them. Methodist Medical in Houston did the right thing, terminating the employees who wouldn't take it. Medical workers not getting the vaccine!!! Crazy!
I am a business owner who has to deal with the public so it really affected my business.There was an over all affect on my life because I have a lot of older family members so I can not go around them because of their fear of exposure.I was more worried about my parents and older siblings than myself. I got COVID when I was in prison and the health care system sucks in there. I had to persevere through my trials and tribulations to survive. I actually caught COVID twice the first time I did feel bad it was hard to get out of bed cause I had severe symptoms like flu symptoms but a little worse.Then when the institution finally started to test people almost 800 out 1000 people had COVID at the institution I was at.That was sad to see people dying and health fall apart because of a unknown source.My second time having COVID I did not have any symptoms but I tested positive for almost six weeks this really put a strain on my respiratory system cause I have asthma and have already had upper respiratory infections so contracting COVID absolutely frightened me cause I didn’t want to possibly pass away with out any family or support.
Kids kids kids. I remain skeptical that kids will escape this pandemic essentially unharmed (from a Covid perspective). Especially if people don’t get vaccinated and some horrific variant emerges that can bypass the vaccine.
I'm not an "essential worker" but I have gained such a deep appreciation for them during this pandemic. Especially the people who were working in the grocery stores and pharmacies. They kept us going!! Such an under-appreciated job but soooo necessary during the pandemic. Where would we have gotten food or medicine otherwise?? I will forever be grateful to those workers.
This past weekend I was able to visit my brother and his boyfriend at their new place in NJ. They had been living in Manhattan and decided, after years of talking about it, to move. Their condo is amazing and the area where they live is fabulous. On Sunday, we went for a walk to Liberty Park. It was 90 degrees and I did not bring my water as I had no idea how far it would be. Seven miles until we got home!! We stopped and I chugged a gatorade. While the turning around part of the walk was painful, going was great. The breeze felt nice and it is always great to see the Statue of Liberty. The whole weekend felt rather normal. People out and about, some with masks, some without. I was just glad to see my family and visit while there was too much time when visiting was extremely dangerous. It was a good weekend and a calming one, well, with the exception of the death walk!
- lately I've been really angry because in my country, a lot of young people are getting vaccinated before priority groups, and my father -- who works outside of the house and has high blood pressure -- hasn't even had his first dose
I took this photo in Berkeley, California in late April of 2020. There was so much thoughtfulness and loving humor that went into the notice and the message it conveyed. This is one of many signs that people tacked up on telephone poles and bulletin boards during the pandemic, offering help to others who might be at a higher risk of infection. My spirits have been lifted every time I’ve seen these signs of people willing to take some risk to help their neighbors.
The journal makes me reflect which is good. Knowing the information is going to the US often makes me think of things from the perspective of being the small guy sitting next to the giant. Americans as individuals are some of the kindest and thoughtful people I have met anywhere in the world. The concern I have for your nation is the direction that some leaders want to take. Canada is not perfect as seen by recently by the discovery of 215 unmarked graves in my hometown. We have issues the same as you. Our values on many levels are the same, but some differences are difficult to understand. I will leave it at that.
I am most worried about democracy and a fracturing of society around basic tenets of reality and fact. When the pandemic began, I really thought we might all come together. Instead, conspiracy theories were flung mainstream, and Trump spread them faster than the virus itself. The mask vs antimaskers was ludicrous, and now beliefs around anti-vax movements are perplexing. Meanwhile, our democracy is barely holding and continuously threatened. I worry about climate change, the virus, democracy, and SCOTUS almost every day, alongside basic concerns about my own health (had an ovarian cyst burst two weeks ago), and my friendships and such.
Everything feels huge. Everything feels insurmountable. But I just keep telling myself one step at a time.
Estamos a mediados del mes de Junio, hace casi un año y medio que paso lo de la pandemia. Es raro creer cuantas cosas han pasado en este año. Yo nunca me imagine estar en esta situacion. En mis libros de Historia venian remarcado los periodos en donde en algunas partes del mundo sufrio algunas epidemias/ pandemias. Quien diria que alguna vez eso nos iba a pasar a nosotros las personas de ahora? Jamas lo hubieras pensado. Dices que tal vez el pasado a tenido tantas cosas imprortantes y tragicas que han marcado en la historia y se ha quedado ahi en un baul en donde capta informacion para todos los presentes.
Esta pandemia se ha llevado vidas de millones de personas alrededor del mundo. No solo por la enfermedad, sino tambien por otros factores. Muchos suicidios se han cometido, gente con depresion. La mente es muy poderosa, y ha aislado a gente de sus seres queridos. Las personas necesitamos socializar, y cuando una persona no lo hace, puede causar mas problemas mentales.
Muchas personas renunciaron a su trabajo para no tener tanto contacto con otra gente, otras no tuvieron empleo por que muchos lugares cerraron negocios. Solamente los negocios escenciales han podido mantenerse abiertos.
Trabajo en la Home Depot y siempre le preguntaba a la demas gente como era su experiencia en este cambio tan drastico. En su mayoria se quejaba de usar la mascara, otros por el empleo y muchos por no poder ver a sus familias.
- one thing that has continuously made me angry is the lack of social support ... for the vast majority of people, we had no assistance from the government
... this country says it supports its citizens but isn't willing to do anything when they're in need
... it blows my mind
... it's a disgrace
The reopening of CA is causing tensions, because people don't know who is lying about being vaccinated in order to feel confident enough to simply say, if you're vaxxed, come in. Also, children, and immunocompromised people feel scared, still.
The pandemic has been a really weird time to live through. I see so many changes in my closest relationships that it might be hard to pinpoint. My own kids have gone through times where they have felt isolated and unmotivated. Having two high schoolers in distance learning was interesting. I felt at times like I was part teacher, part cheerleader in helping them maintain their enthusiasm for their coursework. Some of the time this caused some “friction” between us because I was helping them more than usual stay on top of things.
One other major change was my relationship with my dad. He’s 76, lives alone. We used to see him every weekend, but for safety reasons we kept him isolated. We still talk on the phone every day of course, but admittedly, it’s different. Now that everyone is vaccinated in our home, we will be able to see each again, right in time for Father’s Day! As for my local friends it has been weird not seeing them - but for my far away friends - I had more time to reach out and talk and now text more frequently. Lots of changes!
Through severe isolation, I learned the value of being with human beings. It's quite profound.
This past week I walked along the waterfront with a friend, luckily it never rained. Our restrictions are slowly easing up .. now bc movie theaters are opening and we are allowed to travel within our province. I still have another 8 days till I get my second shot. So hopefully by mid July i can go to restaurants inside or outside …it will be so nice to do sonething for a change.
I have been going through some social anxiety because i have become unfamiliar with socializing this days
I was a little sick this past week but i had to go to school because apparently Matric comes first
I couldnt go to one of my debate workshops because one of my peers got affected
It broke my heart but i had to accept it
I feel like this pandemic is slowly taking away the things i love. Hell its even causing social anxiety
I think that if the government always postpone and cancel educational and important things
Then clubs should also do the same
Country: South Africa
My parents live four hours away from me and my mum has to take care of my dad whose health is deteriorating quicker than I could have ever imagined. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the start of the pandemic and two other diagnoses joined a couple of weeks ago. My mum is entirely alone with this situation and has to plan out each day and think for two. And while she is one of the strongest women I know, she's been struggling a lot. Anger, guilt, regret, no love, responsibility. We're on the phone every day which might be a lot but it keeps us both sane.
And since they are both fully vaccinated already, they'll come up to Berlin next week to visit me. Since September last year, I haven't seen them, and being apart from each other for the first time on Christmas was a huge downer. Hurray for digitalization, so we could have a virtual Christmas dinner. I remember that we had a huge fight before because I refused to visit and didn't allow them to come up. My mum cried so much that she hung up the phone. But I had to be strict. For the first time, I felt the responsibility to be the strong one. Reversed roles, a huge test. But I am happy I stood my ground. So many people got infected because they couldn't stay away from each other during Christmas..... it was the height of the second wave after all.
But things are looking up and my parents come to visit next week, as I said. It'll be a huge relief to see each other again while at the same time I am anxious about seeing my father again. He aged so much during the past year.... and I felt so useless, not being able to help.... while at the same time I was relieved I couldn't help. Is this normal? My mum's a hero. She's doing everything to keep my dad out of a retirement home, out of the hospital, out of harm's way. Whenever I feel down, her attitude, her way of coping with things, gives me strength.
Not much has changed for me since last week. I am still waiting for the VA to get back to me about assigning me a Primary Care doctor, which is the first step in being able to make an appointment for an exam at the Women's Clinic. I am reluctant to get the vaccine until I find out what is going on with me otherwise. I guess I am increasingly depressed and frustrated about not feeling safe from COVID, because I am not vaccinated, not being able to go see friends, and also being afraid of what affect the vaccine may have on me.
That's interesting you would say that, because I have had some very very vivid dreams. I dreamt about my brother who I haven't seen in 16 years, 3 times in a row! Of course I called him after this. I don't remember dreaming about him very much in the past. My dreams have seemed longer and more vivid.
I won't lie - it felt weird walking through the doors of the Getty Museum today in Los Angeles. Perhaps what made it so strange was that it felt in some ways like I had just been there. The last time I had ridden the tram or admired the artwork was February 15, 2020. Just mere weeks before the end of the normal world as we knew it. Yet here I was today with my family.
It was interesting to hear their perspectives on the California lifestyle. Most of them live in Texas where they can roam free while the other half live in Seattle. I loved how they talked about how intolerable the mask rules were here - as if I hadn't mentioned it countless times on the phone with them or if I saw them in person. I guess it's one thing to tell someone and another to experience it firsthand.
I am curious to see what California looks like in three days when the mask mandate supposedly ends. For some reason I remain doubtful that things will change - i.e. that I'll see more maskless people. I keep waiting for the governor to step in and go "um, nevermind, I'm not lifting the mandate even if I'm being recalled."
In many ways, the Getty was exactly the way I remembered it - the vastness of it, the gardens, the artwork. Today, I loved the Vincent Van Gogh "Irises" painting - full of life - vibrant. Something I hope to experience in the future - full of life. In some ways, I have lived like dormant flowers - waiting for the spring to arrive so I can burst into color.