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

I wrote earlier that I had cut off some of my conservative friends early in the 45 Regime. One of them was particularly hard to let go of. At the time, it wasn't so much that person themself, as it was their scary, threatening, racist reactionary other friends who I didn't want learning too much about my other loved ones or me. I had indications over the last few years that, now that all their remaining friends were reactionaries, this friend had become more like them. And I can be cold, here, because even if I were completely alone in the world, I would still draw the line somewhat short of hanging out with Nazi and Klan sympathizers.

Last weekend I found out this old ex-friend had died recently after a few weeks of battling COVID. That hit me pretty badly. Like, maybe if I had stayed in their orbit, I could have been that lone voice of reason that might have prevented them from taking risks with this pandemic. Because I found footage on social media once I went hunting for it that, no, this person was not being particularly careful. Normally, I can be pretty cold-blooded and say, "This person was an adult who chose the side that sympathizes with genocidists and disregards sound pandemic science. They did it to themselves. Don't waste energy on feeling bad about this."

But right now, I just remember the friend I once had.

Work is hard, still overtime and probably will remain so for months. In spite of many more tests run last week, my county's percent positive was at nearly 10%. Last week, because nobody in the few places I must go into is wearing a mask, including children who can't possibly have been vaccinated yet, I started wearing a mask at work again, even though I don't have to since I'm vaccinated. (We still have a lot of other pandemic rules in effect.) There's just too much chance that I could wind up an asymptomatic carrier of one of these more-contagious variants, and masking back up settles that anxiety. I double-mask and disinfect if I have to go anywhere besides work, because people are acting like this thing's over, even though it clearly is not.

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

Having had the privilege to work remotely teaching first year college students during the pandemic, I had no reason to return to campus.

Until last week.

My boss finally called for an in-person meeting.The goal was to gear up for the fall semester. Although I was thrilled to see colleagues beyond a Zoom screen, it was a bit strange.

But not as strange as entering my campus office. It had been 16 months. The calendar was turned to March, 2020. My memorabilia -- photos from my daughter's wedding, another of my husband and me on a fishing boat, a postcard from the Adirondacks -- were tacked to the bulletin board, untouched.

So were the energy bars, packets of tea & a bottle of Advil I stored in a small basket. Untouched. A perfect time capsule.

I am certain this is a scene repeated all over the world. People returning to abandoned work places, like explorers discovering ancient Pompeii. The eerie feeling. The disbelief, as in, what just happened here?

I bundled up that blustery day in March and headed home with the expectation of a 2-week hiatus. Who knew?

How could we ever have known then what awaited us? If we were lucky enough to live through it.

Hablemos de ciencia. ¿Han cambiado sus opiniones sobre la ciencia, o las opiniones de las personas a su alrededor? Si es así, ¿qué ha cambiado?

Creo que las personas en general hemos volteado a ver la ciencia como antes no lo hacíamos, pero aun así por lo menos en el país donde yo vivo la usamos a nuestra conveniencia. Por ejemplo; la ciencia nos ha dicho que debemos de vacunarnos pero NO dejar las acciones preventivas de cubrebocas, distancia, evitar reuniones, etc. Yo ya me vacune, pero siempre que me ve con cubrebocas o que decido no reunirme con otras personas me preguntan "¿pero ya estas vacunada?". Las personas no entendemos, y hacemos lo que queremos y nos conviene con los datos científicos.

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

Feel like I’m in the twilight zone. People acting like this is all over .. no masks, no distancing, indoor gatherings, crowds, etc. and yet I feel the threat, though invisible, is still with us;…a threat called the Delta variant, So I am the one wearing a mask, keeping my distance, avoiding being indoors without a mask, avoiding crowds,

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

I am overwhelmed cause of my home life, family, and me trying to figure out how to balance work life, school life, and social life. I am just exhausted all the time and frustrated because of the past and because of everything going on currently. I think being isolated really made me enjoy alone time. So in some ways, I don't care to be around anybody.

When did you realize COVID-19 was going to change the world?

When my grandchildren's schools closed. When businesses and restaurants and events, etc. etc. etc. closed and stopped operating, when people DIED, when Zoom jailed us, when I felt jailed, when I couldn't recognize people due to masks, when I walked downtown and there was no one there. When downtown continues to have closed businesses and restaurants.

All this makes me sad.

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

The coronavirus at this moment has affected my life as making myself consider in getting the covid vaccine. Some of my family members have gotten it, but I am still unsure about it. Im unsure because I have my doubts about my safety. But if my family has it and they're fine, I will be fine myself.

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

We are having a hard time getting back to a normal tech-life balance in our house. Screens have been such an exaggerated part of our lives for a long time now. With lockdowns and things being closed and playdates so infrequent, as well as digital school for a while, we've let technology like video games and Netflix take a larger role in our daily life than we normally would have. Everyone has just gotten used to that as the default entertainment option. It can be hard to even remember what we did all day during the summer before the pandemic. We are working on breaking bad habits like binge watching and cycling from 1 screen to another, but the number of hours we all find ourselves using tech is still pretty high. Especially on a rainy day like today.

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

- 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

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

It is the first time we come back to nyc since our last visit on March 2020…

When we visited then I was the only soul wearing a mask in Nyc… now a lot of people use it.

We are happy to be able to go out and enjoy a trip like this. Our daughter is staying in NYC for a month, and sharing an apartment w 3 girls… one came back yesterday from a trip to Miami and very soon she reported she tested positive… so mi daughter went to get tested, thank god she is negative and she began using a mask as if it was a part of her body, she wears it constantly.

Mi brother who lives in Colombia w his wife and 3 adult sons has lived trough a very difficult week… A. tested positive, he passed it to P., and finally M. got it… so 3 out of 5 relatives got infected…after months and months of confinement.

Such a difficult time in Colombia simply because the vaccines are so slowly being offered to the general public.

I regret I dis not invite the family to come over to get vaccinated.

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

Traveling during corona is a very Kafkaesque affair: S. is driving to Germany with her dad today, there are supposedly no restrictions for her to enter since France is a 'green' list country. But to come back, she has to have a PCR test because she won't have been double vaccinated yet for 14 days (she only got the second dose a week ago). But the PCR test has to have been done within at least 72 hours before entering the country, and it can take up to 48 hours to get results: so instead of risking getting it done in Germany and then not getting the results back in time, she went to get tested here in France yesterday (actually did get the results already this morning, super quick), so now she's got a test done in France which allows her to reenter France, even though the whole point is her being a risk since she's coming from Germany. It will be interesting to hear how things go at the border and what is being controlled and if there are differences between the countries.

Has the pandemic disrupted your plans for the future in any major way? If so, talk about the most significant disruption(s).

- the pandemic has affected my plans to enter university

... I missed a chance to be admitted by one point

... a close friend of mine died of COVID, it affected my mental health

... without this grief and loss, I would be better -- I'd be able to do anything I used to

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

I am worried that the number of COVID cases and deaths are both on the rise again. The Delta variant has me a little spooked. I wonder things like whether I should be doing more social distancing again and/or wearing a mask again. I had gotten to the point where I felt pretty secure -- I've gotten both of my Pfizer-BioNTech shots -- but at the same time I am an older person (68) and I don't want to get even a mild case of this thing, I'm annoyed by and impatient with the folks who refuse to get vaccinated and I don't really care what their reasons are. I think vaccination should be mandatory for anyone who is going to engage in person with anyone else.

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

Still minimal COVID impact! I was able to see one of my best friends last weekend--this was the first time I've been able to see her since 2019, which was amazing! In that time she had a baby, so I got to meet her baby as well! She talked a bit about the difficulties of having a baby during COVID, like her husband having to wait in the car during several important appointments she had during the end of her pregnancy. I truly can't imagine going through that. I'd considered trying to visit this friend over the Christmas holidays in 2020 in a socially-distanced manner (we were visiting family the next town over), but at that point she had JUST had her baby so we decided not to attempt it. I am so glad that I was able to see her!

Things are starting to feel a bit more normal-ish. I still wear a mask when I'm in stores, but I barely wear one at all when I'm at a restaurant and barely wore one when I was at my office yesterday. We're still working virtually and I'm not sure how/when that will change, but I'm not exactly in a rush to go back into the office. There is something very nice to being able to do work in comfortable clothes, with my cat nearby. There's also something nice about being able to do a load of laundry during the workday! As nice as it is to do laundry, anyway.

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

We're in the middle of the third wave in South Africa so I'm trying to limit the times I go out. But in the past week I've been forced to go out several times.

I woke up with a jaw ache, and had to go to the dentist. (I think he was a Covid denier, not my usual dentist as I couldn't get an appointment. He said some things about Covid I didn't understand, about it being like the flu. But although he didn't wear his mask properly, the rest of the practice seemed to adhere to proper protocol)

My pet rat developed an abscess so I had to go to the dentist several times. They are much better about social distancing and mask wearing.

All my siblings have had their first Pfizer jab. My father got his second jab the day before yesterday.

My sister might be sick, she's got symptoms that seem like more than just side effects. Runny nose, which might be a symptom of the Delta variant.

She had a test yesterday and is waiting for the results. She thinks that if it's Covid, she might have got it queing for her vaccine.

Things are very scary in our country right now with people looting shopping centers and burning buildings.

It's happening at the other side of the country from where I am but I am still very worried.

I'm concerned that it might spread and happen more. I'm worried about the effects on the economy, on food security, and vaccine delivery.

I'm going to be able to register for the vaccine from tomorrow. My age group can get vaccinated from August onwards.

Think about something really important that happened to you this week, and tell us about it.

I'm fully vaccinated and its been 3 weeks since my last shot so I have as much protection as i possibly can have. My son has had 2 doses of Astra Zenica and his wife has had 2 doses of Pfizer. My husband, daughter and I have each had 2 doses of Pfizer. So my little family is done for now…. Who knows if we have protection against the new emerging variants… time will tell.

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

Something surprisingly positive came out of un unpleasant situation. I had an allergic reaction to an infusion I received so had to visit the pharmacy by bus. Wore my mask as required and was grateful the bus wasn't crowded. (So many people here seem to think the pandemic is over and refuse to comply with the transit masking rules.) But the bus was quite late so my patience and mood were tested.

The pharmacy was inside a busy grocery store and almost nobody was wearing a mask. So I picked up the meds and high tailed it to the light rail station where the bus pool is stationed. As I walked past the first bus station I noticed a man sitting there. Our eyes met and we both recognized each other from riding the light rail on Tuesday evenings before covid. He was always on his way to work as I was returning home after drawing musicians at an open mic. We had many lovely conversations on those night rides but hadn't seen each other for almost 2 years.

So we talked until his bus arrived (mine was late, of course!); and, before he got on, he gave me a hug. A real bear hug, my first real hug since before the pandemic. I haven't really touched anyone or been touched since before covid. It felt strange but beautiful. The pleasure of it has stayed with me.

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

My life has not been affected by the pandemic this week The only pandemic related conversation recently has revolved around the national news of covid outbreaks in summer camps and the recent travel restrictions announced in Chicago.

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

I am currently concerned with what is happening with the Delta Variant. Everyone keeps discussing it as a ploy to hype up vaccinations because our President didn't meet his deadline of 70% on the Fourth of July. My husband and I are both vaccinated as are three of our five kids. Two of which are under 12 and I worry more about the pair of them then I do myself. Especially our 11 year-old who has special needs and Asthma. I am fearful that something will go wrong and that something will happen to him. He'll get sick, he's non-verbal and cannot tell us when something hurts or is wrong, so it is all a guessing game. If our guess is wrong, then I am sure you could probably understand the amount of worry that would coincide with this. Or even worse, what if he gets it, ends up in the hospital, and we cannot be there with him? I do I deal with that? Or what if he gets it and dies from it? I would never be able to function normally ever again if I lost my child. Especially when there are things that you can do to lower your risk. Not completely eradicate it but to definitely lower it.

This makes me angry when people discuss or say that they aren't getting the vaccine. And then list off all of these reasons why they won't. Half of which are all debunked misinformation that they obtained second hand or through an invalid source. Or even better yet, that the government is doing it to control them. Look if the government actually wanted to control you, they would and you'd have no way out of it. I guess my anger and issues are that I don't see why others always put themselves first when there are so many people that need to be protected. I gladly got vaccinated. Not just for my own health, but for the people that I love and for the people that other people love. You have to stop seeing it as a control and understand that the best thing that you can do is help someone else.

I also got pretty upset with my own father this week when he proudly stated, "Well I have been vaccinated so I can't get it." This... This is the problem and I made sure to tell him so. Especially with all of his health issues that puts him and his age at the top bracket of HIGH RISK. You can always get something regardless of if you have been vaccinated for it. That vaccine is supposed to reduce the effect the virus or whatever is decreased so you do not become so increasingly sick that you could potentially die from it. This is the point that SEVERAL people are not understanding. So what does he do? Well I am vaccinated so I can go out (anywhere I damn well please), cough into my hand instead of my elbow, touch everything and then touch my face, food, etc. Come over to my house and touch everything and my kids faces... It's just a never ending struggle of OCD cleaning that has me so stressed out that I want to kick everyone to the curb.

Clean your hands, cough in your elbow, drink lots of water, make smart choices, and stop hoarding stupid insignificant stuff!

Has the pandemic prevented you from living up to your potential in any way? If so, give an example or two.

NOOOOO! To the contrary, the pandemic has been one of the best things to happen to me. I have been able to focus more on myself and the things that are important to me without having to see other people that only suck my energy. I realize how much of my life before the pandemic was wasted on stuff that did not help me grow in any way whatsoever and only drained me. I'm hoping that as we get back to "normal" I can be more aware of this and keep my boundaries clear.

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.

Daylilies bloom for just a day. After that they wilt, their petals limp and collapsed, sometimes weeping. I pluck the spent petals and toss them on the ground where they will melt into the soil, food for next year's blooms. They often stain my fingers when I snap the spent flowers from their long stems. But for one day, they are glorious. These three flowers from Red Pinnacle seemed to celebrate the 4th of July and the lifting of Covid rules. Will we bloom for just a single day, pumped up and shiny new only to wither quickly and return to social distances and half hidden faces?

I'm afraid we are coming out of safety into a dangerous world, divided, overcome with false pride, and weary of inconvenient rules.

Talk about what you think the world will be like after the pandemic is over.

Well, « after the pandemic is over ». What would constitute « over »? We don’t seem to be in sight of that. I’ll think about it a bit.

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

My mother passed away in June 2020 from covid. Because we could have only 10 people at a graveside service it was hard to feel supported by others. Now that we can see each other again, no one talks about it anymore. I did join an online community of people who have lost a loved one from covid. These people get it and I am thankful for their support.

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

Going back into the office now requires checking my temperature, filling out a form affirming that I am healthy and to the best of my knowledge have not been exposed to anyone with the virus in the past 14 days and my signature on a waiver holding my employer harmless if I get the virus while in the office.

Yet I’m glad to be back, even if it just a day every other week. It has helped my mental health.

I’m also working harder at taking care of my physical health. The rowing machine I ordered came this week and I took it for a five minute test run. I think I am going to very much enjoy using it.

Even with that, I notice that I eat the damn donut once in a while instead of dithering over how bad it is for me. That is a pretty good change.

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

My husband was in hospital for 2 days. We had to wear masks in his room if anyone else entered. I am glad we are fully vaccinated. Dehydration is bad here in Arizona with temps over 100 degrees.