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What did you most enjoy doing this week?

Got together with friends inside without masks. Decorated gingerbread houses. Kids hung out together all day just playing video games, laughing just being together. We all went together to the town’s Xmas tree lighting. During the event which was crowded with happy people and little kids running around my husband and I talked about the new variant. I thought this post was going to just be about joy but we were looking at all of the happy faces and said to ourselves “enjoy it now.” I hope that this isn’t our “June 2021” when we felt free again and then were slammed with Delta. I have not really thought about what we have lost due to COVID. I have tried to focus more on what it has given us. Time together before my child turns into a teenager. But now see that joy - all of that together time with friends and family - has been paused.. I am still ok with that but the thought of another year of isolation or at least another year like this one is absolutely dreadful Now that we know what it’s like. Now that we have been reminded of what we miss.

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

Thinking about time, and how 2019 and before feels like several lifetimes ago, and also actually never really happened, it was a movie I saw; or maybe actually it happened to somebody else, and I have only really been alive for the pandemic.

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

I'm just going to say the same thing I'm sure a ton of people are going to say: I am very anxious about the omicron variant. The whole thing has a "you've got to be fucking kidding me" vibe.

It's disheartening how utterly relentless this virus is, coming at us with everything it's got. And part of the problem is, we're not coming at it with everything we've got. Doing a lot more much sooner would have saved so much time, money, and disruption in the long run. By half-assing it, we end up spending much longer fighting it, spending more money, etc. If this was a war, the enemy could feel confident in simply waiting for us to inevitably exhaust the resources we're inefficiently using. I wish we could understand this as a global war effort, with all of us in the human species on the same side, battling the same enemy.

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

Me preocupa un poco que la gente no tome las precauciones necesarias para protegerse contra el Covid durante las fiestas. Y al mismo tiempo entiendo la desesperación de todos.

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

To the person who wrote this last week about the pandemic:

"One aspect of the pandemic that future observers may not appreciate is that it’s BORING"

Welcome to Omicron!!! Just when we all thought it was safe to go back in the water.....

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

9:00am Tuesday before Thanksgiving: I drove to get a nasal swab PCR test before hosting family, including my nearly 96 year old mother in law for Thanksgiving. The testing site was by appointment only, and still there was a line of cars. But it moved quickly. My husband and twenty-something kids also got tests before we all gathered for the holiday. We all got "negative" results and felt more comfortable in hugging, eating and just plain being together. It was wonderful to have a "normal" Thanksgiving after last year's holiday and all the other missed occasions. (And I've been tuning out the news of a new variant out of S. Africa.... I feel like I just can't deal with this pandemic continuing.....)

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

Welp

I'm of the opinion that it damned well is possible to vaccinate all corners of the world, if not for fatcat greed. Our failure to bring that to heel is looking like it will bite us all in the backside. Well, probably not the fatcats; they'll be fine as usual.

Omicron

Delta is about 70% more transmissible than the original found in Wuhan. Omicron is estimated to be about 500% more transmissible. Five times more transmissible. I'm just hoping it's evolved to be less dangerous, but time will tell.

But it's probably not here right now where I live, and my kids and I, with our fresh stock of personal antibodies, will be getting together for lunch this weekend. Hopefully, we'll be able to do that for the December holiday, too. Meantime, I'm resting during this four-day weekend instead of engaging in the multitude of projects I should be doing around the house. Work will be a madhouse (pandemic-be-damned, I guess) until end-of-extended-shift on 24 December. I realized today (Friday) that this has been the first time in months that I've been able to just relax and recharge, without either being ill or dealing with vaccine side effects.

Since the pandemic started, does time feel any different to you? Does it feel slower than usual, or faster than usual, or basically the same? If time feels different, give an example or two of what has changed.

Time feels so much slower and faster right now. Is that even possible to feel both? Day to day feels like it drags, especially over the past 10 days of quarantine since my son got sick with covid-19. Yet somehow, this Wednesday is already December 1st. The months of the pandemic are just flying by. So much more of my son's childhood has been spent during covid than not during covid. This all started when he was a year and a half. The last time my son got to celebrate Thanksgiving with family he was 15 months old, and he won't get to celebrate another one with family until he is 4 years old since we were quarantined this year. He doesn't know about all the things he's missing out on, but I do. Time is going by so fast watching him grow, but there are so many restrictions to what we can do while we try to keep him safe.

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

Today is Thursday, November 25, 2021.

It is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America.

This picture is from a team-building scavenger hunt I did with my co-workers in August, 2021. We work in a combination Middle School & High School in Windsor, Connecticut. Our students come from 22 towns, mostly in Hartford County. Many of our students are from Hartford. Our school is a highly diverse group of people.

This simple cardboard sign, cigarette butt and face mask remind me of the difficult times many people have experienced during this pandemic. There is also a small plant growing in the crack between the curb and the sidewalk, which reminds me of my favorite season, Spring, because many plants (and animals) begin to grow and the Earth seems to come alive after the dormancy of Winter.

Being Thanksgiving, I am also reminded of the people, places and things in my life to be thankful for. I have much to be thankful for. I have my family, although we are smaller due to the pandemic, and we miss our loved ones dearly. This holiday season will be painful.

I also have a work family, actually several work families from different chapters in my life. I have a church family, hobby families, volunteer families and sports teams families. My newest school family is extraordinary, and I am blessed to be a part of it.

Think about the people closest to you. Tell us about how the coronavirus has affected them, and their life.

My grandmother tested positive for COVID two weeks ago when she got a test in order to travel. She was asymptomatic, but she was obviously unable to make her trip. This trip was supposed to be with 4 of her siblings who live across the country and in Canada, and they hadn't seen each other since the beginning of 2020. Although she is healthy due to the vaccination, her brother-in-law unfortunately passed away earlier this week. She is unable to be with her sister and the rest of her family as they grieve the loss of an important member of their family. This takes a toll mentally and physically on someone her age because there is nothing she can do about the situation. She is not entirely comfortable using technology, so she cannot communicate with her family as people my age would. This is a really sad situation for everyone, but especially the elderly in our family and community.

Describa una experiencia que le hizo feliz esta semana.

Mi familia está reunida. Estamos juntos y eso me hace sentir feliz y a la vez me hace sentir normal, como si nada hubiera pasado.

What did you most enjoy doing this week?

I enjoyed taking naps after teaching this week. Something about being a teacher and educator is exhausting from the behavior disruptions, to the opinionated articles that only 75% understand what is really going on in education. I finally got to rest my head and sleep a bit without anyone screaming my name, without my own voices mocking myself, just wholesome SLEEP.

If you could have done one thing differently at the start of the pandemic, what would it be and why?

In hindsight, I should have made more of an effort to broaden my social circle and stay in touch with more people more often. During the pandemic, I lost my best friend. I was not expecting that. I thought we'd get through it together. The loss of that support hit me extra hard. It really emphasized to me how very alone I am. That's something I need to work on now.

Additional Material

Happy “Thanksgiving” Holiday!

Poet Haley rearranged the day:

Happy “Givingthanks” Holiday!

I am grateful for my life:

Wonderful caring husband (40 years together)

Seven beautiful, healthy grandchildren

Three super stepchildren & their spouses

Parents & in-laws who cared in their lifetimes

Our family home, safe, warm, happy

Friends who always were present

A cool local orchard - known to me

For over sixty years from childhood

My first newspaper coverage?

My five year old self photographed

Pinning the “apple on the tree”

A bag removed from my head

For the photographer to request

“SMILE” !! I was famous !!

My long braids tightly wooven

Long ago, 1955 in this orchard.

Now a new memory?

My foot or more taller self

Hit her head squarely into

“Blue Jay Orchards” thick wood

Celebrating this week

With color coordinated

Thanksgiving Holiday ICE PACK !!

🎶🎶🍎🍎🍎🍎🐾🐾🐾

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

The pandemic has not really affected me in the past week. Everything has been the same but, I am happy because my son came home from college. He is back for Thanksgiving break and I am really happy to see him!

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

Por un momento me pregunté si el ponerme el booster shot implicaba quitarle a otra persona la oportunidad de poderse vacunare por primera vez. Después pensé que yo tengo que hacer lo que está en mis manos para acabar con la pandemia. Desafortunadamente yo no puedo enviar vacunas a lugares remotos, pero sí puedo evitar que otros se contagien poniéndome el booster shot. El privilegio conlleva responsabilidades en si mismo.

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

One aspect of the pandemic that future observers may not appreciate is that it’s BORING. In the initial stages of the pandemic, when there wasn’t any vaccine and almost no treatment, it was a daring adventure just to go to the grocery store. All your senses were sharper; you noticed everything around you—the bright primary yellow of a dandelion, the liquid warbling song of a robin, the chill of the brisk March wind—because you knew that next week you could be on a ventilator. Or maybe dead.

Now, we’re close to the two-year anniversary of the discovery of Covid-19. The virus is old news. If you’ve been fully vaccinated and you live in an area where the vaccination rate is high, you no longer have that immediate fear of death. Instead, you probably have a constant low-grade anxiety that never completely goes away. No U.S. states or counties are on lockdown any more, but we still can’t do all the things we used to do; lots of places are closed or operating under reduced capacity, and some places (like my favorite toy store) just aren’t there any more, victims of the pandemic. And when you do go out, you still have to wear a mask and maintain social distancing, because you never know if the guy standing next to you in the checkout line is one of those idiots who refuses to get vaccinated. That’s getting kind of old. It’s as though our old life was in color, and now we’re living in black and white.

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

After I posted my fears last week about our trip to the Grand Canyon, it hit me that I never mentioned all of the good things that happened there. In this age of pandemic, it's easy to travel down a negative spiral. I'm learning that I have to work more at finding gratitude for the things I do have. It's not quite so automatic anymore.

I'm determined to do better. On this trip to the Grand Canyon, I had my first experience watching the sunrise over the canyon. We stayed the night in the park, and the sunrise was beautiful, with no crowds.

How could I have so quickly overlooked this private moment of beauty and calm? Somehow, I believe our Earth will find a way to survive and right itself. With our without us.

Today, I'm grateful for my time at this majestic and timeless place.

If you could have done one thing differently at the start of the pandemic, what would it be and why?

The one thing I would do differently would be try to remain calm and trust that I was doing all I could to keep me and my husband safe.

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

My husband got Covid in September. He's fully vaccinated and recovered fairly quickly. But recently he seems to have had a relapse. About a month after he was sick with Covid, he started getting feverish and very nauseous. He's still not entirely recovered now. I think it's mostly stress from his work, but I don't know whether it could be some kind of long Covid as well.

I'm trying not to worry too much about the people in my country who do not want to be vaccinated. It seems unlikely that we can get back to something like a normal life while so many people are not vaccinated. There is nothing I can do about this. So I try not to think about it too much.