Featured Entries

Each week during PJP’s first phase, we posted a few journal entries that participants gave us permission to share anonymously.
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  • To learn more about the Pandemic Journaling Project, visit our Main Site.
Talk about what brings you happiness these days.

These days being able to spend time with friends and family outside the house makes me extremely happy. For about a year and a half I spent my life inside my house, not being able to see friends or family in person. I spent my senior year of high school locked in the house completing assignments. I graduated via a YouTube video and not being able to see the people I love made me depressed. So know I appreciate the moments I get to have with my loved ones.

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?

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’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.

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.

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.

Is there any art you've found particularly meaningful during the pandemic (paintings, music, movies, writing, etc.)?

I’ve discovered 5D Diamond painting kits during the pandemic. They are relaxing, and very meditative. I do them when I watch TV and can justify that as being productive, and creative, and it’s sort of zen like instead of just succumbing to couch potato. I’ve also been in a book discussion group and we discuss various topics such as “what’s the difference in arts and crafts?”, “What defines an artist?” ,”What’s it take to be an artist?”And if you could have a “Creative super power what would it be?” I would love to be able to paint…there’s several artist in the group that have been very supportive and encouraging…and therefore get a little frustrated when I admit to doing one of these kits. They don’t understand that once I’ve picked and purchased a kit the decisions are done. There is no deciding on subject matter, size of canvas, type of paint, colors, or composition as those decisions have all been made. (And, therefore I don’t have to worry about making a wrong one). It’s basically paint by number with plastic beads transferred from a stylist to a sticky canvas. The repetitive motion is very soothing and it feels good to watch the canvas fill up. I also give them as gifts so am thinking of the person as I do them. They have been great distractions from the daily grind of dealing with CoVid.

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

ANGRY!!! Again covid is in my family and disrupting plans. My daughter in law tested positive for covid. Now our vegetable garden planting will have to wait, no dinner together on Sunday. Don't know where to direct my anger, but I think it is anger at those who have spread the lies and refused to believe science. There is no way this affluent nation should have 1 million people die from covid.

If you feel your mental health has changed since the pandemic started, talk about what's changed.

A profound sense of loneliness like I have never experienced. My mom died in 2020 after a stroke in 2019. While I am going out more and see friends, I just still feel disconnected. A lot of my friends have adult children. I do not. A friend is going to stay with me for a while. That will help, as long as we get along...lolol.

Who have been the most important people in your life during the pandemic? Talk about why they've been important to you.

- the pandemic has taught me the value of my family... big shout out to them

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


CT has one of the highest rates of transmission in the country right now, but people are still just acting like I'm the weird one for wearing a mask. Whatever. Everyone I know is getting sick and I don't wanna.

My mom is still recovering, and says she's slowly getting her sense of smell back. It's been weeks. Happy birthday, Mom.

Anyway, I'm convinced that my parents' efforts to avoid getting sick until they could be vaccinated and fully boosted saved my mother's life. For that I am grateful.

And I'm also grateful to have had a place here to put my thoughts and feelings. Thank you all for making this happen. This has been a useful place to organize my thoughts and view myself through a (sometimes rather unflattering) mirror at times. I hope this resource is useful for future generations and I am glad to have contributed to it.