Don’t you wish you had a journal from your ancestor who witnessed first-hand the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918? Of course you do! And your great-grandchildren are going to think the same thing about what is going on in the world today with the Coronavirus. So here are a few things to remember when journaling about the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 for future posterity.
Use Dates When Journaling About the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020
Always top the page with a date and the day of the week. As the future reader turns the pages, they will be able to see the way in which things unfolded day-by-day. If you really wanted to get detailed, you could even put the time of day!
Use Extra Details When Journaling About the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020
This is probably the most important aspect of journaling. Use extra details in your writing. Let me share with you an example.
“My sister, Chris, has been really sick for weeks! I am sure it’s because she is teaching Kindergarten. Her doctor said to stay home until Monday and quarantine herself.”
“My sister, Chris (Christine Smith), has been sick with flu-like symptoms for weeks. It all started when she began substitute teaching a kindergarten class at ____ Schools in ____ County, Ohio. She just couldn’t seem to get well. Finally on Tuesday (10 March), she was forced to go to the doctor who told her to stay home until Monday (16 March) and quarantine herself. He put her on an antibiotic and steroids to hopefully avoid whatever she has turning into pneumonia. There were no Coronavirus test kits available, so that wasn’t even an option.”
Can you see the difference in these 2 examples? Details are important. Notice, I refer to my sister with a nickname, but the reader may not know that, so I make mention of it in example #2.
In the first example, I mention my sister is teaching Kindergarten, but in the second example I clarify to say she is only substitute teaching. The second example also includes the doctor’s instructions and treatment.
Journal Your Feelings About the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020
Are you worried? What exactly is worrying you? Personally, I am worried that I will get the Coronavirus and it will get severe because of my asthma. I am also worried about the fact that if one of my children got the virus first, they would feel responsible for giving it to me. That may be a big burden to carry for them.
What miracles are happening around you? How do you feel about your preparation and the way others are preparing? What changes are you making to your daily routine and WHY? Were you forced to make these changes or were these things you felt inspired to do?
Journal Details About Others
Don’t forget to journal about other people. Not everyone is going to keep a journal or diary of this unique time in our history. Therefore, consider writing names of other persons in your writings.
“A lady at church put together boxed lunches to hand out tomorrow. I was so impressed with her service.”
“Josephine Newcomer, a lady from my church, put together boxed lunches to hand out tomorrow at the church building on ____ Rd. in ____, Ohio. I was so impressed with her service. Other people who joined her to prepare the lunches included Janice Doe, Susan Que, and Holly Homemaker.”
Collect News Articles
Even if you aren’t buying traditional newspapers, you can use the snipping tool or a screen capture app to get a few key articles from online newspapers and print them at home. Be sure to use reputable sources and record where the article came from and the date.
Your History is Up to You
Your story will be different than mine and different than your neighbor’s. The only one that can write your story is you. Do not delay or put it off. Get started writing right now! Pull up Google Docs, open a note taking or audio recording app, or just pull out a piece of paper and start writing. I think you will glad you did and so will your posterity and the posterity of others.
For more information on writing or journaling your personal history, see the following webinars at Family Tree Webinars: