Posts Tagged ‘Coronavirus accounts in diaries’

I Should Have Chosen the Red One

April 20, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

I should have chosen the red one. Instead, on March 13th, I selected this blank book with the Tiffany cover, which is far too pretty and small for a pandemic. We were at about 5,700 people infected with the coronavirus in the US at that time, 640,000 now. I am at 116 pages so far—about half way—and will be done with it before the crisis is over.

I hope that you are writing your story. Coronavirus and You. Cornavirus in your city. A month, week, or day by day account. Write the history, write the truth of it. See it, feel it, taste the experience. Make a record of it for future generations, or for yourself in old age.

Some of our diaries will survive, like the diaries from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, the dust bowl of the 1930s, the children’s blizzard of 1888, or the Galveston hurricane of 1900 that killed over 6,000 people. You don’t learn history from the textbooks. That’s all whitewashed and scrubbed clean until it has lost all the flavor and truth it ever had. Primary source. That’s us.

We need thousands of stories. Front line stories: nurses, EMTs, firefighters, or those infected and scared. Who among us has been hit hard, who can barely survive, and who has escaped damage – financial, emotional, social? So many stories, but only you can tell it from where you stand.

While we reach out to connect with friends and reconnect with old friends during this historic pandemic, it is also a good time to reconnect with ourselves—the person we are today who may have become something of a stranger during the normal busyness of our lives.

When did you last have time to be alone with that person without all of the daily distraction of our modern society? To reflect on who that character is in relation to the other characters in your own story, your novel? We are “writing” the book of our life even if we do not keep a diary.

Now we have an excuse. A lost job or a closed business. A lockdown. Maybe you are facing poverty and struggling to survive, yet luckily still healthy and not yet at the primal level of survival. If you can motivate yourself in the face of an uncertain future to get out of bed, off the couch, there’s a gift here—the gift of time to do all those things you said you never had time for, the gift of “slow-time” to look around you and appreciate what you do have.

Although I have been meditating and journaling for years, the coronavirus pandemic is a unique experience. Looking at the specter of the grim reaper, being reminded that our days are numbered, and knowing that tomorrow is never a given, it is a moment to step back and see if I am still heading in the direction I want and if my priorities are straight.

It is also a chance to record an individual perspective on this chapter in history. I am the author of this book and I will tell it like it is for me.


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