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

Estuve unos días en el Estado de Morelos para celebrar el Dia de Muertos, mis familiares que visitaron el panteón hablaban de la cantidad de muertos "nuevos "entre finales de 2020-2021, mencionaban cerca de 100 en un comunidad como de 15,000 habitantes. Me impresionó el caso de una familia en donde el hijo joven llevo el COVID y contagio a sus padres, el se salvo pero sus padres murieron de edad mediada, 60 años, también supe de un barrio en donde 18 vecinos habían muerto de COVID, y uno de mis primos mencionaba que la mayor parte habían sido jóvenes. Todo ello nos llevo a extremar precauciones sobretodo cuidando de de mi padre que es mayor. Me asombra que aún en localidades pequeñas y poco comunicadas, el COVID haya llegado y haya sido tan letal, me parece que la mala alimentación y salud debilitada, poco cuidado médico, son causales de muchas de estas muertes.

Think about the people closest to you. Tell us about how the coronavirus has affected them recently.

I'm lucky; I'm not hugely affected by the virus, compared to others at least. I haven't had it. I don't have kids, so I don't need to handle the school-from-home-but-also-needing-to-work chaos. I was able to work from home. But still, these crazy times have messed with my head. And so knowing that for others I know, who have kids and needed to report to work and etc, it messed with their heads even more. So I just want to give everyone a big hug.

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

This evening, my son gets his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. I'm half afraid it won't be there for us when we arrive for our appointment. It almost doesn't feel real. With my whole family protected, we'll get to re-evaluate the way we live and the risks we're willing to take.

With any luck, there won't be another surge on the horizon and we can all have some fun for at least a while.

During this pandemic, people are looking for guidance and support in different places. Talk about where you've been looking for support, and how helpful (or not helpful) these sources have been to you.

I've been finding self-support in these hard times with artmaking! Whenever I feel anxious, I make a little digital drawing about something uplifting. This one is just about the beauty of wind turbines, behemoths stretching over green fields to the horizon, waving hello in unison. They look so cool. They are so big. Sometimes I see individual blades carried in oversized load trucks and can hardly believe how big they are.

Has the pandemic changed your view of government, or its role in your life? Give an example or two.

I've been working in local government during the pandemic, and I've been so disillusioned with how our local government works. Our public health department is run by elected officials, not public health officials, and one of those elected individuals has been on the air saying the COVID vaccine is a eugenics plot. No wonder my work is a mess. How can any public health work get done like this?

Have people in your community supported one another during the pandemic? Talk about why or why not, and maybe give some examples.

People in my cultural community have definitely supported each other in a few ways. My mosque made a food drive and donated 350 food boxes to the needy with 1 month of food supplies in each box. As for those who have passed from COVID, their funeral expenses are partially covered through donations from the community and everyone gathers to mourn them while wearing masks. Mental health wise not much support has been seen as it is a taboo topic.

Has the pandemic affected your religious or spiritual observance in any way? If so, talk about it.

- growing up I was raised Catholic ...

- when the pandemic first started I stopped going to church, and my role as a youth minister wasn't needed

- I went to a Catholic college and thought it might help me reconnect with my faith, but in the end it played a role in leading me to transfer

- I've realized my values don't really line up with the Catholic church. If it weren't for the pandemic, I probably would have left it at that.

- the pandemic didn't directly push me away, but these two events happened concurrently.

How do you imagine life will be different when the pandemic is over? Have your thoughts on this changed since the pandemic began?

I used to think that life would go back to being how it was before the pandemic, but I don't think that anymore. I think it will always be different even if it is not always like it is now. Of course, life changes constantly as that is what life is, change. If it is not changing it is static and the only static state for living things is for them not to be living anymore, ironically. I think we will continue to have lots of telehealth from now on, I think there will be more things done by computer, I think there will be less interaction and less socializing.

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

Me parece que nada será igual. Hoy muchos seguimos teniendo miedo de contagiarnos a pesar de estar vacunados, la mascarilla se ha vuelto parte de nuestra vestimenta diaria, incluso los vestidos de fiesta ya traen una mascarilla como complemento. Pienso también que algunos nos hemos vuelto menos afectivos, abrazamos y saludamos menos a la gente, y cuidamos más el espacio personal. La entrada al trabajo también habrá de debilitar más los lazos sociales pues los espacios para tomar alimentos serán más controlados y no se permitirá tantas personas a la vez. Algo preocupante cuando somos seres sociales por naturaleza.

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

This week the weather has been beautiful; mild fall weather and just perfect for taking long walks. When I’m outside, it’s easy to forget we are still in a pandemic. I can socialize with friends, enjoying happy hour around a fire pit or afternoon tea on someone’s back porch. On Halloween, I tagged along with a friend while her daughter went trick-or-treating. Seeing so many kids walking the sidewalks and chatting with neighbors made me so happy. That little girl will get her first Covid shot soon and I’m looking forward to spending more time with her after she’s fully vaccinated.

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

Tough week. My mother-in-law decided to prolong her stay with us because we didn’t know the kids would be able to return to school, both of them having been sick at the end of last week. Announcements that restrictions would be eased again, as cases are rising and people stop caring. I feel like it’s going to be a long winter. I just want my kids to be vaccinated so we can feel safer again. One of my husband’s cousin got COVID and her boyfriend too. Everyone seems to have given up where I am, although if you look at other countries ahead of us, you can see that cases have been surging… it’s just discouraging. I caught whatever cold virus my kids had and out of caution I preferred to cancel my birthday celebration with my parents. It’s also awkward because I don’t feel comfortable being indoors with my sisters who’ve resumed their lives and go out a lot and mingle. Please, get us the COVID kid vaccine asap!!!!!!!!!

Has the coronavirus pandemic changed how you see the country you live in? If so, how?

The response to the covid vaccines has made me less proud of my country. Covid is a health crisis and it makes me very sad, and sometimes angry, that it has become so politicized. It's a simple thing to wear a mask to protect yourself and others but I see a lot of resistance to that. I'm disappointed in people who appear to have no respect for others. There is a lot more selfishness in this country than I had previously realized.

Do you feel like you know how to protect yourself, and others, from the coronavirus? Talk about why or why not.

No, I do not feel like I really know how to protect myself, and others, from the coronavirus. I do wear my mask, have been vaccinated but still fearful because of the breakthrough cases that exists out there.

If I use a pen because I forgot to use mine, I freak out and use my hand sanitizer immediately. I especially dislike writing my name on a keypad, etc. That has to have lots of germs. \

As I work with students who are homebound and have compromised health conditions, I also don't know how to really protect them either. I don't want to bring them any germs or have them get CoVid because of me.

I am feeling lots of anxiety around this and I am feeling the anxiety of the world too as the outer is a reflection of the inner.

I feel all the anxiety and then I have to let it go.

Thank you,

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

I noticed most posts in the Pandemic Journaling Project are about anger, fear, and blame. I try to live a normal life even though I reside in one of the current hot spots. Maybe I am a fatalist but believe you can do everything right and still die.

My boss asked me to teach her and my coworkers to paint sunflowers on fence panels. We painted the panels after work Tuesday night. It felt good to help them be creative and enjoy something out of our daily routines. They all said they couldn't paint, but as you see, they were successful. I believe it is better to do the things you want to do than live in fear and anger. Many times, fear and anger can make you sick, so everyone, please try to make the best of what you have. The choice is yours.

Let's talk about sleep. How have you been sleeping recently?

Getting enough sleep has been tough in recent weeks. I recall two nights in a row, when I went to bathroom at 2 AM, didn't get back to sleep, got up at 3:30 & 3:34 AM. I warmed up some cows' milk in microwave oven & ate peanuts, hoping the extra triptophan amino acid would quickly be converted into that brain chemical that helps humans sleep. I got back to sleep. Most times when I've lain down during daylight I can't get to sleep. Some nights, I Iie on the bed about 8 PM, with radio on or off.

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

I think our family has decided that the virus will always be around and we need to figure out new and safe ways to live. We can't wait for it too be over, we will miss out. However, we will continue to mask and get the booster vaccination.

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

I have very strong motherly feelings for our students and my boys. I feel our school district and county need to get on the same page. There is really no contact tracing, which is hard to believe. If there is tracing, it is only a few students. The health department and the school need to realize that those students are not only at their desks. They are on the carpet talking about their feelings, they are at the lunch tables and on the playground together. We need to do better for these little ones that are unable to get a vaccine.

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

10/26/21

FDA gives emergency authorization to vaccines for kids 5-11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/26/us/fda-pfizer-covid-vaccine-kids.html

Talk about whatever else is on your mind today.

Halloween was almost normal this year. My partner and I dressed in costumes, had dinner at a friend’s house, and then went trick or treating with their four-year-old child. One of their neighbors had carved 26 pumpkins and placed them, complete with lighted candles inside, around the edge of the traffic roundabout at the end of the block. I say almost normal, because along with their costumes, most of the children wore masks that covered their nose and mouth. And at several of the houses, the candy was delivered to trick or treaters by sending it down a long pipe, thereby maintaining social distance from the as yet unvaccinated little ones.

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

Vaccines for kids!!!!!!

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

This past week I put my dog in the car and went up to Empire, Michigan to take pictures and look for pretty rocks and fossils. I wanted to see how well [she] travels. She did fine. I was a bit anxious, though, I didn't need to be. She did accidentally lock me out of the hotel room. I went to the car, which was parked right outside the door, jumped up on the door, and turned the dead bolt. Inside the room were my keys and my phone. Other guests called the owners several times. As soon as they got the voicemails, they phoned to say they would be there soon. It was cold and very windy up north, but I got a few good pictures. It was too cold to do any serious fossil hunting along Lake Michigan's shores.

But going up there marked a further nudge into normalcy. I woke up this morning to find we had had our first frost, so it's time to bring in the green tomatoes in the hopes they will ripen on the counter top. And I promised a friend that I would collect marigold flowers and freeze them. Her daughter makes dye from them.

I wonder how long this bubble of normal will last before a new variant scratches at our warped sense of reality.

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

Esta semana ha sido rara, cada vez se ven más gentes en la calle caminando, la mayor parte con cubrebocas, pero sin guardar sana distancia, pero por otras partes he conocido de manera indirecta que varias personas han muerto de COVID 19. Lo que me recuerda que el virus no se ha marchado, de hecho pienso que él ya se quedará a vivir con nosotros, aunque espero que en el futuro no sea letal, y pase a ser como un resfriado. Finalmente, tuve que visitar a mi familia en el Estado de Morelos y asistir a compromisos sociales para "rezos" que se hacen en mi país para familiares que han fallecido en este año, con motivo de la fiesta de muerto, a pesar de que es un pueblo pequeño, la mayor parte de personas usa cubrebocas en espacios públicos, creo que lo usan mucho por miedo, porque conocen o tienen familiares que sufrieron o murieron por la enfermedad.

Who do you trust most -- either in the news or in your personal life -- to explain what is going on right now? Tell us about why you trust them.

As someone trained in STEM and research, I find that I don't really trust any of my sources unless I can find verification in fact-checking or see that multiple mainstream sources are reporting the same thing . I understand saying that may make me sound a bit pretentious and a little paranoid, but I think that in this day and age we have to be aware of the plague of misinformation and propaganda put out into media (often by unreputable sources) which can then shape the actual news. I don't think that all news is "fake news," but I don't believe that misinformation is becoming more common. In an ideal world, all news and information would be given out unbiased and without malice, but as it is right now, it is important to be responsible for the information we consume and how we consume it. That being said, if it's basic news/events I typically trust mainstream news sources like CNN. Much of the news is opinion pieces and we are often most drawn to the media that best conform to our opinions. As a liberal college student, I prefer looking at liberal sources as they most resemble my worldview. I have come to realize that while I trust them, I should probably look at other sources that force me to think outside my bubble and see the different side even if I am unsure of the accuracy of their information.

To the answer as to why I trust what I trust, I don't think I fully do trust any one source. I need verification and a number of different sources pointing to the same thing. I like to develop my own opinions and draw my own conclusions after receiving that information as long as it is accurate information.

Let's talk about money. Are you and those close to you able to pay your bills these days? Has this changed lately?

Money hasn't been a problem as I have been able to work remotely through the pandemic

Access to goods, though, was an ongoing problem in 2020

There were mysterious shortages of usually reliable supplies: hand soap, toilet paper, flour, yeast, rye flour, and chicken thighs

It was extra upsetting when I would have to wait outside for the number of patrons to exit so that new ones could go in, only to find that the thing I had counted on re-stocking, was not available

My parents are hoarders

Before the pandemic, I used to criticize my parents for stockpiling cases of toilet paper

There were only two of them, and they had four cases in reserve

I thought, even if there was a harbor strike, they had enough toilet paper to last for years

Then this pandemic struck, and I thought, maybe my parents had a point

Those four cases of toilet paper didn't look so nutty after all

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

One week of no overtime. I thought I'd be more productive around the house, but I slept extra instead. Maybe next week.

Did not have the nerve to go see "Dune" on IMAX, but I wish I could have. At least I was able to stream it, and tonight I'm not in the middle of a two-week period of counting off the days until I'm sure I didn't get exposed to SARS2 just to see a movie. I would've felt real stupid, explaining to medical staff that I got a breakthrough infection because I just had to see a movie on the big screen.

I had requested a mail-in ballot for our local election, since I wasn't sure at the time how prevalent COVID would be by Election Day, and today I dropped it off at the county office. Where nobody, including staff, were masked. So I guess they know how I voted, since I walked in there wearing a mask, clutching a mail-in ballot.

I have my booster shot scheduled with the county late next week. Happy about the possibility of a semi-normal holiday season with my kids this year. I won't know how to act.

I'm also happy for the chance to safely boost my immunity to this, knowing I have coworkers breathing unmasked near my workstation during their breaks. Coworkers who are getting more blatant about being done with all this pandemic crap, and I'm sure they're planning gatherings for the holidays, too, and not wanting to have to take time off for quarantine. The company mandated vaccination for all staff a couple months ago, including those still working from home. All staff, that is, but those in Production and Warehouse, because they need us to make the stuff they sell, and it's harder to find new-hires these days. We were somewhere around 70% vaccinated, last time we were told. Before we more than doubled our staffing. I'm guessing they'll lower the boom after the holidays when business slows down and they won't need as many workers.

The FDA just cleared and EUA for young children to be vaccinated. I know an awful lot of parents are not going to go with this, but at least some children will be vaccinated, now.