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

SAD. MAD. ANGRY. Yes, every person reluctant to get vaccinated makes me angry. How can they deny cases, hospitalizations, and deaths? How many more lives must be lost due to their reluctance? How can they deny their responsibility to be part of the best solution available at this time? What will it take to change their minds?

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

Today is the first day of the fall semester, and I am anxious about many things. We are in person for the first time in my program, and I feel like I'm completely starting over. This is the most difficult semester of coursework in my program, and I'm starting a new internship and my capstone project, but I also have to commute now and meet up with people in person for projects. Not to mention, covid cases are really high right now and the delta variant is spreading pretty quickly even among vaccinated people, so I'm not sure how safe I really am. We had a department meeting with our advisors today, and it doesn't seem like there is much flexibility for students who do not feel comfortable attending classes in person right now. The only way you will be excused from being in person is if you are actually sick or have been in contact with someone who tested positive. I don't see how we will be able to maintain this for an entire semester, and the thought of going online completely again is almost as bad as being 100% in person.

Since the pandemic began, have you felt more connected to the community you live in? Less connected? About the same? Talk about what, if anything, has changed.

My connection

To community?

Teaching painting

Exhibiting my work

This connection

Was severed by virus

One solo show

cancelled 3/2020

Two solo shows

cancelled 4/2020

My charcoal drawing

Years ago New England

Art majors in college

One talented student

Now a new grandmother!

The clock ticks

My connection?

Begin again

Paint along lakes

Guide new, young hands!

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

Cuando yo tenía 9 años, mi mamá dio a luz a mi hermano muerto. Tuvo una preeclamsia justo unos días antes del parto y el ginecólogo no supo manejar adecuadamente la situación. Semanas después, acompañé a mi mamá y a mi abuela cuando doblaron y ordenaron toda la ropa del bebé para venderla. Mi mamá había tomado un cuaderno y allí escribió poemas, oraciones, y todo lo que se le ocurrió sobre la pérdida de mi hermano. Fue muy doloroso.

Ahora, mi prima ha perdido a su bebé y no he podido evitar revivir todo aquel dolor con el añadido de que uno siempre sufre cuando alguien que uno quiere sufre. Cuando quieres a alguien siempre, siempre, deseas preservarla del dolor. Hasta que llega algo que está totalmente fuera de tu control.

Mi hijo ya salió negativo en la prueba de COVID-19. Como ya no tiene síntomas y el tratamiento que se le dio no fue complicado, ya se registró para recibir la vacuna. Le he dicho que no debe ponerse la Sputnik porque el gobierno vacunó a 160,000 personas con la primera dosis y de la segunda dosis solo vinieron 62,000. Se dice que no vendrán más lotes de la segunda dosis porque corresponde a un mal negocio que hizo el gobierno con Rusia.

Lo bueno para el presidente de mi país es que ya le vendió a los rusos una parte de uno de nuestros puertos y le pagaron una inmensa e ilegal comisión por ello. Es lo bueno de que nuestro presidente negocie con los rusos. Y lo que estoy diciendo ya apareció en el New York Times, no estoy chismeando.

Mientras el presidente se llena los bolsillos con comisiones corruptas, la semana pasada tres personas murieron en las calles. Eran hombres de la tercera edad. En el caso de dos, se ha confirmado que era COVID-19. Los hospitales están saturados y no hay suficientes camas, ni personal médico para atenderlos. La ola de COVID-19 está creciendo.

¿Cuándo se dio cuenta de que COVID-19 iba a cambiar el mundo?

He tardado bastante en darme cuenta de que este virus cambiaría el mundo. De hecho, buena parte del 2020 me pareció inverosímil. No podía creer lo que estaba viviendo. Era como estar dentro de una película de ciencia ficción. Aunque necesidades urgentes como la pérdida de trabajo y otras, me atacaron, era como estar en una pesadilla. Difícil de creer.

Aún hoy, cuando vivo prácticamente aislada en la casa de mi mamá, me es difícil aceptar que el mundo ha cambiado. Cuando hablamos de volver a reunir de forma presencial, por ejemplo, grupos de niños para actividades de educación no formal, siempre trato de dar soluciones para mantener el distanciamiento e intentar hacer lo que hacíamos antes. Pero siempre hay alguien que me dice que no. Que no va a ser posible realizar las actividades como eran antes.

Creo que tardaré un poco más en aceptar que el mundo ha cambiado. Tal vez haya algún acontecimiento que caiga sobre mí como una epifanía y me convenza de una vez por todas que el mundo ha cambiado. Ese acontecimiento aún no me ha llegado.

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

I've been in Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri this past week. People don't wear masks around here (other than people working in stores).I am trying to keep my distance, and I am avoiding public places. No one talks about COVID around here. I'm guessing most people aren't vaccinated either. Flying here was a concern, but I wore an N95 mask and a humanity shield the whole way. Some people on the plane were not wearing their masks over their noses and some were eating and drinking, so couldn't wear their masks at all times. I've become such a germaphobe. Hopefully I won't get COVID. Turns out my boss caught COVID from her boyfriend (I knew that was coming). She's recovering now. Now another colleague is sick. I hope she doesn't have COVID, but I'll find out soon. It's all such a drag and a concern. One day at a time. I fly out of here tomorrow. Not looking forward to wearing a mask and shield for another long flight. It is hard to breathe and it gets all fogged up.

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected how you feel about yourself, others, or the world?

Covid has confirmed the enormous number of stupid and selfish people that live in the US. I fear the affect of that will never wane. I've lost respect for my country. And while I was never "A Patriot" in the dreadful sense of the word, I've always loved the United States, and used to consider myself lucky to be born here. I'm not saying that there aren't a boatload of worse places. Indeed there are. But I now believe there are many countries that I would rather be from. If I wasn't near the end of my book, I'd find a different library.

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

I have been so caught up with the disaster going on in Afghanistan that I have been thinking about Covid less than usual.

I don't know what to think anymore.

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

There really isn't much for me to say here this week other than I continue to be frustrated with people who refuse to get vaccinated and refuse to wear a mask. I'm to a point now that I'm really done with trying to convince anyone of the benefits of these two things.

¿Ha desarrollado nuevas habilidades o pasatiempos desde el inicio de la pandemia? Si es así, cuéntenos sobre ellos y de lo que significan para usted.

Estos cambios que han surgido ahora en mi vida me han dado la oportunidad de seguir todo aquello que deje atras y siemrpe anhele.

Hace unos dias comence a pensar en como me he alejado de mi parte artistica, y ahora ya no quiero considerarlo solo un hobbie, desde ahora quiero cosniderarlo como una vocacion mas de mi vida.

Por ahora, seguire en mi nuevo trabajo, ahorrare un poco, volvere a tomar las riendas de mi vida por otro rumbo mas independiente y pensare en volver a los estudios, pero ahora ire a seguir mis sueños que, desde hace tiempo, casi veia imposibles : las artes plasticas.

Imagine you’re talking to a couple of high school students in 2050. They ask, “How did the pandemic change the world as you knew it?” How do you think you would answer?

A pandemia mudou o mundo em todos os sentidos.

Muitas certezas desabaram. Ficamos refém de nós mesmo.

Desculpem, mas ando sem animo para escrever por aqui.

Do you have any concerns about the long-term impact of the pandemic on children, either in general or in your life? If so, talk about one or two of your biggest concerns.

I’m concerned that with over 600,000 pandemic deaths in this country alone, there are a great number of children who are grieving the loss of a parent, grandparent, other relative, or friend. Many of these children will be raised by people who are also grieving the untimely loss of a partner or loved one. The effects of that deep vein of sadness will reverberate through the years and affect their wellbeing and relationships well beyond the end of the pandemic.

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

Today is Saturday, August 21, 2021.

One of the worst things about the pandemic has been the travel restrictions. Today I'm returning to Connecticut (in a car) 🚗 from Fort Washington, Maryland. On Thursday, I took an Amtrack train 🚉 from Windsor, Connecticut to Washington, DC.

I miss the act of traveling and I miss visiting people.

This summer I was able to visit some people after more than a year of staying home. But, my family skipped a trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts because the pandemic is getting worse again. Also, my Church suspended in person services starting tomorrow.

School starts next week and one of the vaccines may receive non-emergency approval soon.

I'll be glad when the pandemic is behind us.

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

Justo cuando siento que las cosa estan resultando a mi favor... Es cuando menos espero la gran bomba de emociones y afectarme de manera tal que el miedo quiera invadirme.

Un familiar resulto positivo a la prueba, estoy muy asustada y afectada por lo que le pueda suceder a esa persona. Y tambien me asusta el hecho de que hace unos dias tuve contacto con ella

No he presentado sintomas y en todo momento siempre he seguido las indicaciones, pero eso no cambia el hecho de que, en teoria, pertenezco al grupo de personas vulnerables ya que no he recibido vacuna.

No quiero tener que renunciar a mi trabajo (el cual tuve dificultades en conseguir) y volver a los malos momentos en los que tenga que encerrarme en mi casa y pensar en el futuro incierto y temer a ser contagiada.

Sinceramente, no se que vaya a pasar, lo repito, tengo miedo, mi ansiedad tal vez vuelva a despertarme en las noches y molestarme por las tardes... Pero he de decir que no pienso rendirme.

Ya no mas! Estoy cansada! No dedique 5 años de mi vida en estudios profesionales y dos meses en buscar un trabajo adecuado para mi como para dar marcha atras.

Ante todo me encomendare a los escenarios que Dios me ponga en mi camino, sere valiente y jamas desistire, si esto llega a leerse dare a conocer mi valor y resitencia ante estos momentos dificiles

Siempre me cuidare, esperare aun mas por mi vacuna y rezare todos los dias por aquellos que me rodean. Siempre luchare.

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

I'm not a student, or the parent of a student, but I work in a school! Full of unvaccinatable children, because they're all under the age of 12 and there's no pediatric vaccine available! It has created a very stressful environment at work, where I feel that I am surrounded by plague rats, and have been contacting parents of symptomatic students to tell them the kids need COVID tests before coming back to school! As if I don't have enough work to do without this added black hole time suck.

This week was also the week that Big Hit finally formally and officially cancelled the Map of the Soul tour for BTS, and will refund our money for the tickets we all bought in early 2020. I don't want my money back. I want to keep my tickets. They were damn good tickets. Not soundcheck, ok, but they were really good seats, and I am absolutely crushed that the tour has been cancelled.

I want it to be clear that I respect Big Hit for not putting its artists and fans in danger by holding in person live events while there's a pandemic, and while the horrifically contagious Delta variant is so prevalent ( I have some thoughts about people who haven't been vaccinated driving the current wave, but they tend to devolve into profanity and bile, so I will leave it at that). I'm glad that Big Hit prioritizes health and safety over profit, at least in this case.

But I'm still devastated, and it has chewed up any emotional bandwidth I had, and murdered my coping mechanisms.

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

Ausência, muita ausência.

Luta, muita luta.

Temor, muito temor.

Ansiedade, muita ansiedade.

Insônia, muitas noites de insônia.

Angústia, muita angustia.

Medo, muitos momentos de medo.

Tristeza, muito momentos de tristeza.

Falta ânimo, mas temos que seguir.

Mas anda difícil.

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

Rosie is my constant companion. She never judges me, is always happy to cuddle and is always willing to go for hikes and walks with me when my family doesn’t want to. I can’t imagine getting through the Pandemic without her.

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

Ansiedad….tuve que salir de viaje y ya quiero regresar. Me da miedo quedarme atorada en otro lugar sin poder regresar a mi casa.

Cuéntenos, ¿cómo cree que será el mundo después de que pase la pandemia del coronavirus?

Estaremos más entrenados para afrontar pandemias en el futuro. Se han creado y mejorado ciertos procesos de ayuda para caso de pandemia/desastre sanitario. Todo esto es bueno. Lo malo es que se haya pandemias.

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

The pandemic adds new complexities to a return to in person learning. I had to buy a new headset the other day because the mask mandate will make it more difficult to hear my classmates in person. I also have to wash my masks more often now that I am walking around more frequently. While these sacrifices are worth it for in person learning, it adds new wrinkles to an already complicated schedule.

Talk about your experience keeping this journal. Has it had any impact on your health (including mental health) and well-being?

I feel like it’s helped my mental well being. It encourages me to slow down and think about how my life has changed the past year. Reflection is a healthy thing, and it keeps the events in the short term in perspective. Even though I try to be brief with these entries, I am sure that, when all is said and done, they will make quite an interesting read in the future.

Talk about whatever else is on your mind today.

I am so upset about the disasters in Afghanistan and Haiti. I know that people from both countries are looking for refuge in other countries, including ours. We must help them, but I can't help wondering about Covid spreading even more as a result of letting suffering people into other countries.

What should we do? What will happen to women in Afghanistan?

This is a nightmare.

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

My boss's boyfriend, vaccinated, got COVID. She's been staying with him. She even had to take him to the ER about 4 nights ago. She's vaccinated, too, and she hasn't come to work, of course. I had been exposed to her before he had tested positive, but at that time, she and I both tested negative. Now she is sick and waiting the results of her test. I am assuming she has COVID, but she was dismissing it as a common cold and just being run down from taking care of her boyfriend.

We seem to have a culture at my workplace where people downplay things when they don't feel well because we are all such dedicated worker bees. This is not okay. Being a martyr is not a good thing for leaders to role model. A wise leader should say, "I've been exposed to COVID, I feel like crap, I probably have COVID, and I need to rest and recover." Work should take a back seat to our health. Leadership should trust their colleagues enough for them to take care of business in their brief absence. If leadership can't do that, they should question how they are running their team. My boss was pale and weak during yesterday's meeting (which she attended virtually). It was obvious she wasn't well and should have been in bed. I couldn't believe she was dismissing it as a common cold. Not only am I worried about her, I am bothered by the messaging that it's okay to be that sick and still working. It wasn't even that important of a meeting. Also, in general if you are sick after spending a week with someone with the Delta COVID virus, you probably do not have a common cold. You probably have COVID!! If any bosses are reading this, remember that your employees want you to set a good example. Work is important, but it's not that important. That's why you have a team. That's why people have sick days. Show your employees what taking responsibility for your health and wellness looks like. Show your employees that you trust their competence to run a meeting in your absence and share the notes with you when it's over. We care about your health, too. We want you back when you are strong and rearing to go!!

¿La pandemia le está impediendo de estar a la altura de su potencial de alguna manera? Si es así, cuéntenos de eso.

Siempre he sido muy buena en los talleres presenciales que llevo a cabo. Cada año, realizaba un taller, por lo menos, con alguna institución. Eso se acabó a partir de la pandemia.

Debido a mi alta vulnerabilidad ante el virus, y el hecho de que el doctor dijo que no podía vacunarme porque la enfermedad autoinmune está activa, es imposible para mí realizar talleres de capacitación presenciales. Es triste y es una entrada de dinero menos.

He participado en talleres virtuales, pero siento que no es lo mismo.

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

I only just learned that home Covid tests are available! It’s not clear how reliable they are for catching asymptomatic cases, but it was still a nice security blanket between my husband getting home from travel and being able to take a PCR the next day. I considered stocking up but stopped myself. There was plenty of supply. I was happily surprised to discover the kit had TWO tests, so we’re already prepared for the next time my husband has to travel. Score!