Keeping a Journal During a Pandemic

Keeping a journal, one in which you write down details of what is happening, can make sense of these changes, while creating a lasting record for posterity. In the future, we will want to look back and reflect on this time. We will want to pass these lessons on to the next generation. To do this, start by keeping a record of what is happening. Your journal can be physical or digital. 

Include the following critical items in your journal:

  • Your name and the names of others contributing to the journal if there’s more than one person
  • Your location (city, state/province, country)
  • Dates for each entry – full dates with month, day, and year are best

Aside from these items, which provide the necessary context for future historians, you can write about …

  • Whatever is on your mind about the pandemic (including how you feel about it),
  • Your observations about what is happening in society as a result of the pandemic (like people buying up all the hand sanitizer, bleach, toilet paper, and, the latest, flour, or the financial markets taking a dive, or people losing their jobs),
  • Your symptoms if you happen to get sick and have the energy to do so,
  • The symptoms of others if they get sick,
  • How you are altering your habits, work life, and living arrangements to cope with the situation,
  • The new ways you are learning to socialize, including the technology you use to keep in touch,
  • How you are passing the time if you don’t have a lot of work to do (new hobbies picked up, old hobbies renewed, etc.),
  • How you are coping with having children home (if this is your situation),
  • How your pets are coping with having you home,
  • How you are helping others (checking in on relatives, serving in an essential service capacity, etc.),
  • How you are coping emotionally with social isolation and fear related to the pandemic (if you use humor to cope, including gallows humor, make note of it)
  • Anything else you want to write about.