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.

Esta Semana Santa se reactivaron todas las actividades y tradiciones propias de mi país, luego de dos años que estuvieron suspendidas por la pandemia de COVID-19. En la foto se puede observar una alfombra de aserrín que elaboraron mis vecinos por el paso de la procesión de Cristo Rey.

Se reactivaron porque se exigió que todos los cargadores y personas vinculadas a las hermandades que organizan y realizan las procesiones tuvieran el esquema completo de vacunación. De hecho, se dio previamente una campaña de vacunación en cada una de las iglesias con imágenes de devoción de las personas católicas.

Cada hermandad puso en práctica protocolos de prevención del COVID-19 que incluían alcohol en gel para todos antes de cargar, toallas húmedas desinfectantes y el uso de mascarilla todo el tiempo.

Me pareció, además, que mucha gente evitó ir a los cortejos procesionales si eran personas vulnerables. Realmente no hubo aglomeraciones de la magnitud que solían ser antes de la pandemia. Creo que muchas personas siguen cuidándose y tratan de no salir de sus casas a eventos como estos, si no es estrictamente necesario.

Additional Material

💙💛💙UKRAINE💙💛💙

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

CoVid continues to feel like this thorn on a rose bush… ever present danger despite the promise of beauty. Can’t let your guard down or you may get pricked. The rain drops emphasize a longing for sunshine, light and a carefree spirit which is not the same as CoVid fatigue. I think we’re beyond that now…

The pandemic has introduced some new words, like "coronacoaster" and "quarantini". Are there any new words you find especially interesting, useful, or funny?

I like the phrase, “pandemic OK.” Its how I’ve felt for most of the duration. It means, to me, that personally I’m OK, but it’s in the context of the pandemic. It means, I never lost my job, in fact I got to work from home (which I love), but I was also isolated from everyone for a really long time. No one has escaped the pandemic, but some of us have certainly fared better than others.

Talk about how the pandemic has affected your closest relationships.

It has made people think I am the cause of my baby not knowing who certain people are. Before the pandemic, she was just born and was always around her family then when it struck,we had to social distance for some time. She grew up in that period and doesn't really know them so I kind of get blamed for it, which isn't fair to me at all. We all know what happened.

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

So disappointed that the mask mandates have been overturned. Makes it very hard for me to be in many public places - especially grocery stores. And having to travel using public transportation, which I had begun doing after the first omicron wave had passed. Now it doesn’t feel safe.

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

The first time to do the Covid test in the dormitory by myself,which is very convenient.

Have you noticed any changes in your relationships with coworkers, neighbors, or acquaintances since the start of the pandemic? Have these kinds of relationships gotten stronger or weaker? If so, how?

I haven't really noticed any change.

At the beginning of the pandemic I tried to set up various plans so that our neighbours could help one another (for example offering to shop for people) but no one was really interested.

Have you noticed any changes in your relationships with coworkers, neighbors, or acquaintances since the start of the pandemic? Have these kinds of relationships gotten stronger or weaker? If so, how?

My friends and I talk about this topic often. We've seen changes in our friends and family that continue even now. We've seen big changes in the way we socialize within our neighborhood. Many of us continue to have a sense of lethargy about socializing. In fact, during this Easter weekend, many of our neighbors haven't planned any get togethers. It's more than just caution now. There seems to be this lack of interest and motivation to plan any social events. I think our bonds have grown weaker as we continue to retreat into our own world. I believe it's going to take a more concerted effort to rebuild those bonds. I've always loved to travel, but just can't seem to get motivated to plan anything.

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

My experiences in the past week were full of COVID test...The situation was really terrifying , cuz there were increasing more than 10 postive cases every day in my city. What made me worrying was that whether I can come back home on the next holiday-larbor day.

All in all, the feeling in the past week was not good, I was almost in low spirit every day.

But I need to cheer meyself up, disperse the sleepiness and focus on online courses.

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

I graduated high school in 2020. So, I entered college during the pandemic. I always said that it was almost better to be freshman in the pandemic than sophomores. I thought this because we didn't know what we were missing out on. For the sophomores as soon as things typically start to feel better at school (middle of second semester) they were sent home. They knew what "real college" was like. Again, the freshman didn't know. Looking back, I partially agree with this. I think I told myself this to feel better and stay positive. However, freshman year was very isolating. I spent so much time in my room. All my classes were online, buildings were closed, the dining hall was only to-go. It was so difficult to meet people. I also cut myself off from meeting people. It was what I was use to (being alone that is). Now that I have (almost) complete a full year of "normal" college, I'm sad for my freshman year self. I definitely missed out on a lot. My first year did not reflect college life at all. However, it has clearly worked out. I have made a lot of friends and have experienced probably one of my favorite years of life.

Some people have said that the pandemic has changed them, or led to changes in their values or even their personalities. Do you think you've changed as a result of the pandemic? If so, how?

I think living through the pandemic has changed me, but I’m still wondering in what way and to what degree.

I find myself to be more introspective in one sense. I find myself questioning my reasons for how I react to things, such as an angry outburst when I realize I forgot to do something, or forgot to bring something I needed when I leave home during the day. I have spent more time writing in journal about what I want out of life, and why. I have spent more time writing out affirmations to try and lead myself in those directions I want to go, or imaging the type of person I want to be.

Or my reaction when I encounter people on the street. Why am I feeling leery? What do I find so fascinating about that person? Part of that might come from how I don’t take meeting people for granted as much as I did before. It used to feel like there was a sea of people I was swimming through when I left my home, and I would take note of them in a half-conscious sort of way. Now I focus in on others more, wondering what they think, why they do what they do, and what situation they came from? I’ve thought of myself as someone that has had a fascination for people for most of my life. I don’t think this is a change, though it feels different to me. A specificity in how I look at them, and how they react to me and my presence. Wondering if I make them nervous, or afraid, by how I carry myself.

I’m not sure. But after Covid, I think I think more about why people do what they do, how they are who they are, both for myself and others.

Talk about how the events of recent months have affected either your work or your ability to work.

Lol!

I think my whole state now is not much different from this picture, a little exhausted feeling.Why?

First of all, because the school life is boring, I think a person is easy to lose morale when there is no new passion in life, I am such a state. Secondly, although I take classes, I take online courses. Although I interact with teachers in class, I always feel a little less feeling and taste, and I do not have the feeling of being in class.

Hope everything will be fine soon~

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

Getting ready to see my family for the first time in 3 years this Saturday for Passover is what I am looking forward to with so much excitement, I can barely describe it. We will all take self-tests for COVID before leaving (this includes everyone going to this seder). I think that is very smart and responsible. I just can't wait to do something normal with my people. COVID be damned. This year we will celebrate.

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

Yes , people in my community have been supporting each other during this difficult time . For a bit there have been housing programs and homeless outreach centers... that have been assisting so many people and have been able to give many more resources due to either more funding and the pressure of pushing to keep homeless youth and homeless in general off the streets and in places they can be safe and sheltered in . I have been apart of this program since October 2021 , and they have helped me and given me resources I didn’t know how to get access to .

Furthermore I feel that mental health has really been a big factor and more celebrated than it has been in the past, and thats amazing ! It’s important to teach self care and knowing what works best for you in that aspect . I have been either teaching myself or through social media different ways to practice this in my daily life . Although this is a tragic time , I feel if this pandemic didn’t occur I would’ve ran myself dry of motivation , patience , and wanting to take care of myself .

It was the break I needed .

What do you think was the biggest news event this past week -- either in your community, nationally, or globally? Talk about why it’s a big deal.

The war in Ukraine, the current financial crisis in Sri Lanka and the anti-Muslim violence in India have all affected us. It is demoralizing to even read the news these days. We have moved from counting deaths due to the pandemic we are not counting deaths from wars and communal violence.

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

I feel like it's more difficult now to determine what's best to do. This week, the local news is reporting an increase in cases. It doesn't sound like hospitals around here are getting overwhelmed yet. And I know there are now treatments available to anyone who tests positive - they can get antiviral drugs and go home to recover. It's just hard to know whether or not to wear masks, to get together in-person with people. And it seems like it's still going to take some time to determine what is the best course of action right now.

My spouse and I keep talking about what to do now during this "gray area" of the pandemic. I think we are going to try to get together with small groups of people who we know are vaccinated, even indoors. But, we continue to put on our masks when we go into stores or other places where we encounter large numbers of strangers. We're still not eating in restaurants. Takeout only if we want to "eat out."

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

Returned to in-person work last week. It sucks. I feel overstimulated, having lots of Tourette's tics, unacclimated to "performing" and socializing and being all chipper and small-talky. I miss privacy and I miss my dog.

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

We are having our first Family Passover in three years. We all taking Covid tests. They better all be negative!!!! I am optimistic and so excited!!! I am also saying lots of prayers.

Some people have said that the pandemic has changed them, or led to changes in their values or even their personalities. Do you think you've changed as a result of the pandemic? If so, how?

I have changed due to the pandemic because I am more cautious when I interact with people for fear of be infected. I have both vaccine and both boosters, but I really don't want to get Covid in any form. The change is a heightened sense that normal moments that bring me joy and calm me down are more important to me. This is my set up at my beach office with the desk, chair and reading material. I always make this part of my life and during the pandemic it is more of an oasis.

Talk about what helps you feel connected to others during the coronavirus pandemic, and what makes you feel more alone.

I feel connected by being in person with folks, first and foremost. I was aware of that when I was trying to make plans with people before I caught COVID-19. However, now that I have it, feeling connected to folks feels extra challenging. I feel alone in my own head sometimes as I am processing mentally all of the ups and downs of having the virus. While I recognize that others have had it, it does not seem a natural topic of conversation and I am somewhat reticent to reach out for that kind of support.

Have you, or anyone close to you, had COVID-19? If so, talk about that experience.

My daughter in law had COVID and she and my son kept it a secret from the family. It bothered us that they felt they couldn’t be open about it. She ended up having loss of taste for months - close to a year. It’s awkward when we’ve tried to share a meal, as she won’t eat a lot of food. Because of the effect of COVID.

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.

I trust my grandpa to have the most information. He is a doctor at [...] med school and has his own lab where he does experiments on cell biology and cancer. It's much more complex than that... but I don't understand it. Anyway, he always seems to have a good idea of what is going on, not just because he is aware of the way that COVID-19 works, but because he is constantly in communication with other people at the medical school. If I ever have any questions I usually ask him. Also, because he is on the ~older~ side, he is very cautious. I trust that if he ever takes a risk, he must feel pretty safe about it.

How has media coverage of the pandemic influenced what you think, how you feel, or what you do?

Media coverage has said mask mandates are removed because cases are down. Because cases are down and no one is wearing masks I went ahead and followed. Now here I am with covid.

For many people, the pandemic put travel plans on pause. What about you? Are you traveling, or planning to travel, again? If so, when, where, and under what conditions?

The first priority for travel for me was Hawaii

I live and work in the American Southwest

Before the pandemic, about once a year I would visit my parents and other relatives in Hawaii and on the West Coast

When the pandemic lockdowns first started, I flirted with the idea of flying to Hawaii to wait out the pandemic there

In the end it was two years before I was able to go, from October 2019 to October 2021

The picture above is probably the most unglamorous photo of Hawaii you've ever seen

My parents are low-key hoarders and the house is full of boxes, newspapers, clothes, take out containers, and the residue of seventy years of living

I realize how fortunate I am to be able to afford to fly back and forth, and to have parents who are still living independently, in reasonably good health

I'm grateful the vaccines and other preventive measures lowered the case rates enough to be able to fly back without having to go through a quarantine. If it had persisted longer than a few years, I don't know what I would have done