Those of us old enough can re-live where we were when Neil Armstrong took his “small step for man and giant leap for mankind.” We remember what the morning of Sept. 11th, 2001 looked like and felt like. We can describe exactly how long the power outages were from Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy or the Merrimack Valley gas line disaster. Right now, every person on planet Earth is living through something unprecedented that is taking an extremely long time to figure out, and that we as individuals, parents, teachers are trying to process and explain to children in our lives. There will be movies and documentaries and books produced about “The Time of Coronavirus COVID-19”.
We are horrified at the mounting world-wide death toll. We are anxious about catching it or having a loved one succumb. We feel a deep sense of loss when a wedding or family reunion or graduation has to be canceled or postponed. We are doing our best to work from home, understand the rules of social distancing, and trying to find equilibrium as our new normal with new rules unfolds almost daily. We are watching dozens of funny memes fly across social media, grateful that people still have a sense of humor.
We are living history, and each one of us, from the tiniest kindergartener to the just-about-to-retire teacher can do something that helps us process these feelings.
We can write. We can keep what is becoming known as “A Pandemic Journal.”
What is a “Pandemic Journal"?
A Pandemic Journal is any form of writing (lists, long form, photo diaries) that recount & reflect the experience and emotions of the current crisis.
Why consider trying a “Pandemic Journal?”
Writing has always, and will always, be a powerful way to express our thoughts, emotions and creativity. Pandemic Journals are an authentic way teachers and parents can model writing for kids, and even more importantly, they can become an outlet for children to express things they otherwise could not.
These journals will become primary source documents someday---they may be used in those documentaries or history books. They may become a treasured family heirloom, or they may simply help us work through uncertainty and anxiety.
Everyone can benefit from Pandemic Journals: all you need is a notebook, a pen, and the motivation to write! Have you started one yet? Let us know how it's helping you and your kids process this unprecedented time. Leave a comment below!