Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Covid Journal

Back last March I decided that it would be interesting to chronicle the year in a Covid journal -- a little bit of writing, a little bit of art and painting.  I ended up completing Volume I last month  (who could imagine there might be a Volume II?) and thought I'd share a few pages. 

I'll be the first to admit the art isn't pretty. The sketches are rough, the writing often slants left or right.  But that wasn't the point. The point was to provide a record of life over the past year, to remember things. And maybe it will get passed down to the grands who will remember little of this time.

Our "year" began with a visit to Canada while Rick was headed to the trade show. I chronicled our dinner celebrating 24 years and the day we learned that things were considerably more serious than we had previously thought.

I wanted to remember what this was like -- the things we had to do, consider, think about. Things that were new to us.

There were the lifelines, like my computer....

....the daily tasks....

....time at the lake.


I wanted to remember how we were able to see friends for dinner -- separate food, tables set apart.


You couldn't forget the idiot students who started a super-spreader event in Michigan by heading to a bar on a summer evening.

Nor could I leave out current events, like the death of George Floyd...

...and the political situation...

How could I forget meltdown days?

That had been such a dark day -- but Rick helped make it be one of the best days at the lake by taking me on a road trip and into the first store I'd been in four months.

 
There were celebrations, too, like my birthday!
 

 
Those summer days at the lake were good ones, being able to periodically connect with friends outdoors who took the virus as seriously as we did, figuring out where was safe to shop and where wasn't, and enjoying the late summer harvest with tomatoes, corn and squash.
 
 
I thought this would have been finished long before the first of the year, but I actually finished shortly after January 6 and the riot in Washington, DC.
 
 
It's been almost a year since we shut down, changed our lives to accommodate a virus far smarter than e are. Now we've been vaccinated -- and still will be wearing masks and being aware of distance. 
 

My journal ran out of pages. If only Covid would run "out of pages," too.

Sharing with:     Pink Saturday      /     Meraki Link Party     /     Let's Keep in Touch     /     Tuesday Turn About     /     Love Your Creativity     /     Timeless Thursdays    

68 comments:

Pamela said...

Last March, I couldn't have imagined this is where we'd be a year later. Your journal is a treasure and will be a piece of history to look back on when we are hopefully back to normal.

Laurie said...

That last entry
Retry much sums up my feeling to lol,, this is such a priceless piece of work, a real treasure,you documented the journey through your feelings and perspective. That’s a treasure. Take care my friend,

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

This is so amazing! What a wonderful keepsake to pass down to the grands. I think the art is beautiful! It’s a wonderful way to capture a very difficult year. I did not capture the year as well as you did but I am trying to write about it in the yearly photo book I put together each year. Having a baby during a pandemic made the time especially memorable! My parents got their 2nd dose yesterday so the grandparents are all fully vaccinated. We are going to see Joan after nap time today. Everyone is very excited. She hasn’t met Will and Paul is excited to see her and play with the toys she has at her house. Phil and I will wear masks when not eating. Then we will see my parents the weekend after Easter. We are planning to go up to their lake home for the weekend. And hopefully with the J&J vaccine supply I will be eligible for a vaccine soon!!

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Your Covid Journal is a great memory keeper and look back at the past year. I always enjoy your sketches, you are talented. I have tried new recipes during the past year too. Hubby and I have not had many social events or gatherings, we have kept our distance from family and friends. I will be glad when we can all feel safe again, maybe after getting the vaccine. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

Linda Sue said...

So glad you have been keeping a covid journal!! Mine does not have words which, down the line, would have been good. I am still trying to keep it going , covid is not going anywhere really and "they" reckon that in five years time it will resurge with vengeance and mutations that will challenge even the vaccinated, so Masks are probably a good thing always. Loving your journal, Ms. Jeanie!

DUTA said...

I wish I could make art like this in your journal! I like your handwriting too.
As for covid-19, your last sentence says it all - after a year, we're still with masks and distancing as the virus is still here.

gigi-hawaii said...

This is an excellent start, Jeanie. Now, on to the second volume!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I am so impressed that you can handwrite pages of content without misspellings, missed words ink smearing and and lines going off into never never land. I wish you never had to write about book about Covid but since it's a fact or our lives, you did a super good job of documenting it all.

bobbie said...

What a treasure you've made to be passed down to the grands!
Good work!

Valerie-Jael said...

Love your m journal, great job! Enjoy your weekend, hugs, Valerie

Mae Travels said...

I love your sketchy illustrations, and your memories. Some you shared with us your blog readers, some not so much, but it seems both familiar and new. Sometimes I find it hard to remember -- when did the stores initiate workable food delivery? Who brought me groceries? When did most things come back in stores. It's muddled in my mind now. And the one-year anniversary is right now.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Pam said...

Great job...I had thought of doing that but it was months into it and since I pretty much suck at keeping journals....I let it go by! haha

Pilar said...

What a creative way to document Covid. You're really talented with your illustrations! Have a great weekend!

Terra said...

Your illustrations add such spark to your Covid journal. I like the one showing "entertaining Covid style". My post today shows my journal covers, 2020 definitely a year to write about.

Martha said...

This was an amazing way to document the year, a special keepsake indeed! I absolutely love it Jeanie, you did a great job!

Divers and Sundry said...

What a wonderful idea and wonderfully done. The perfect first-hand account of these days, and I love your illustrations!

Mereknits said...

I wish you could publish it because it is a memento for so many who have lived through this past year, and your illustrations are so beautiful. Well done. Stay safe.

Joyful said...

I love your journal and think it was an inspired idea to create one. Well done!

anno said...

While I totally sympathize with anyone who just wanted to go into hiding until this was all over (waving my hand here), I am so glad your journal gave you a way to engage with the fear and loneliness that came along with COVID-19. Beautiful illustrations, and a great treasure for your entire family and friends. Let's hope these are all only memories very, very soon.

Pam Richardson said...

This is definitely a keepsake, Jeanie! I never thought of writing anything down, I used to love journaling but once I got sidetracked I haven’t started back!

Prims By The Water said...

Well hopefully the doctors are right and that we will have herd immunity by the end of April. Janice

gretchenjoanna said...

How many commenters have already used the word AMAZING? Yes, you are.

I started a "Plague Journal" that was quite boring by comparison, and I abandoned it a few months ago, there being just TOO MUCH to say. I will have to write in it again, maybe during the second Plague Lent! Since I don't know what to write, I could look for quotes from other people of various points of view, journalist-like. Yes, that's an idea to consider...

Thanks for showing your fun by-product of what wasn't so fun.

Sue in Suffolk said...

What a brilliant way of documenting the last year - your little paintings to illustrate it all are so good.

I also think it should be published - worth keeping for generations to come

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I will never forget how I felt the day the first whisper came out of Wuhan. I knew in my deepest being this was a Big One and we were in trouble, so in a way I am not surprised the wheels are still rolling along. Your journal is a wonderful and creative work recording the positive, the good, the bad, and the downright ugly events of the past year. Who knows how much longer? Who'd have thought you'd be starting Volume Two a year later?
Waving, socially distanced, Deb in Wales

Iris Flavia said...

I truly love your style, Jeanie!
"Isn´t pretty"...! I´d like to introduce to my Brother. He´s a very good optometrist, he might help you see the truth!! ;-)

Yes, stupidity. We have that here, too... certainly.

Take pages off of Corinna!

Great journal in the sense of how it´s made. Bet you´ll look at it in coming years and cannot believe it was really true... I hope so..

Anca said...

What a good idea, to have a covid diary. In a few years you can look back to see how life changed.

My name is Erika. said...

I think the art is fantastic Jeanie. It's a journal and it really caught the essence of the time. You hit the "high" points of the year, and your figures made me smile. I could tell some of the people you mentioned in your blog before and of course you and Rick. Thanks for sharing this Jeanie. Too bad you ran out of pages, but agreed. If only covid would run out of pages too. Hugs-Erika

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

What an amazing journal! It is crazy to think that this has been going on a year.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

This is an elaborate journal, Jeanie. Well done! Can you imagine a historian finding something like this as a record of the times? She would jumping for joy!

Joanne Huffman said...

I intended to journal; but I didn't follow through. You've done a great job.

Rita C at Panoply said...

That's a great journal. I kept very brief notes on a monthly calendar page. It seems so strange to be able to go out now, but that is exactly what we will be doing today. Our last meal out was exactly one year ago, celebrating our anniversary. We shall celebrate today!

Arti said...

Love your writing as much as your illustrations. I mean, literally, your handwriting, and your pen. Beautiful volume and an important personal chronicle of history too. May I ask a trivial question: what kind of a pen do you use in this journal?

The French Hutch said...

Such a wonderful way to document what we have all lived through this past year. If we can ever call life normal again it will be a treasured life journal through Covid to had down to your grands. Let's pray there is no need for Volumn !!.......

Sandi Magle said...

I'm a lover of history---historical events, and yet...I want to erase this last year from my memory. Your journal is compelling and thought provoking...kudos for acknowledging, probably the hardest collective experience any adult living now has had. Thank you, Sandi

NanaDiana said...

What a perfectly wonderful idea! Your images and words are wonderful. Someday, someone will read that in years to come and be so blessed and happy to know who you were and what you were doing when the Pandemic hit. Blessings and have a Wonderful Sunday! xo Diana

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, I do love your COVID journal and I think it will be most important in time for your family to review it. Hopefully, COVID will end before too long and you can end your journal. It has certainly been a year.

We have sun and blue skies this morning, hope you do also. Happy week, Jeanie.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Your journal was quite amazing, jeanie, although admittedly we would all like to forget 2020 and perhaps 2021 as well, but time will tell on that. I enjoyed reading your journal text and the illustrations were great as well. In hopefully better years to come, this journal will really be something to look back on.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Your journal will be something to look back on when our lives are back to normal, and appreciate the little things everyday brings. This was such a good idea and put together so well. I love that you illustrated along with your words.
Thank you for your lovely comment and visit.
blessings,
Penny

Karen said...

Gosh, amazing how we have settled in. I love your book. I find myself looking back at my journal too. Our new reality started on March 16. Whew, what a ride!!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Leave it to you to make a pandemic look delightful in watercolor and words. Wonderful journal

Bella Rum said...

What a wonderful project. I wish I had the discipline to do that. I once did but not so much anymore. I'm not sure if it's Covid or just aging, but I barely can get myself to do a post on my blog a few times a month. Your book will be a great thing for the grands. This will all be over one day. :)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

What a great record of the times. It has been turbulent. I hope (I deeply hope!) we are nearing the end of the dangerous times.

Marilyn Miller said...

Well I started writing and it went away. I don't know if it will show up. Your journal is so special. What memories!! I loved reading it.

Hena Tayeb said...

Wow that's incredible. Not everything that came out of this pandemic was horrible. You found a wonderfully positive way to look at the year. Hopefully there won't be a volume 3.

Carola Bartz said...

Jeanie, what a fabulous journal! I don't think your sketches are rough at all, they perfectly reflect what you wrote and think they are just right. I actually wish I could paint / draw like you do. This journal will be so important in years to come because it is such a fitting reflection of what these past 12 months were like. One day your grandkids will be so happy to have this.

Sarah said...

Jeanne, I truly admire you! I have kept some journals, but not consistently. Keeping one for this past COVID year was a great idea. It was a historic year! I like seeing pages of your journals, and the way your add in watercolor details. Keep it up!

Victoria Zigler said...

It's incredible that you managed to keep it up. I started trying to on my blog, and only managed the first few weeks because I just couldn't face continuing. I'm glad you could though... It's going to be an interesting thing for future generations to be able to look back on.

I wish the pandemic would run out of pages too...

Lisbeth said...

What a good idea. It must be so interesting to go back and read it some years later. I had the idea as well in the beginning, but nothing came of it.

thepaintedapron.com said...

What a wonderful journal Jeanie! I know several people that kept journals, and it's such an interesting idea and way to pass along your experiences for the next generations. I remember last January we had friends over and news of the Corona virus was just coming out. My friend who is a chemist said, I hope this virus doesn't become a world wide problem. We all just shook our heads and thought that could never happen... and what she predicted began to come true only a short time later. My family was very lucky during this, I spent the first 5 months at the beach house with my son and his boys, where, much like your lake time, things felt normal except we didn't dine out or shop and could enjoy swimming and boating like a never ending vacation. My daughter moved into her newly renovated home on March 13, right before everything stopped. Her family was happily enjoying their beautiful new house and she was able to work from home. Our schools reopened in September so the kids haven't suffered. My son and son in law have their own businesses, and were able to take time off at the beginning, and slowly get back to work safely as time went by. Being able to be with my family and endless time for art has made this easy for me. I am getting my first vaccine this week which I am relieved about. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journal pages.
Jenna

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You've created a fabulous book with your incredible watercolors and lovely words. I like how you interspersed the words with your incredible art. You always seem to find the very best and most positive way of looking at things.

On March 13, 202, my world changed and I have been nowhere that wasn't absolutely necessary (like the hospital, etc.). I'm so glad you have Rick and friends who you can share this time with. Even on the darkest days, you found a way to make it beautiful. I absolutely LOVE what you have accomplished, dear.

Lynne said...

What a treasure in art, journalling, creativity, covid, patience, love, caring . . .
I love having followed along in your journey . . .
You are a jewel . . .
Love Love

Anonymous said...

Jeanie, I love the idea of the journal and the journal itself. You may not think your painting are good, but they certainly do tell the story along with the words. What a great thing to look back on, espcially for ones like the littles that will most likely have no memory of exactly how it was. I hope we are coming out on the brighter side. With so many places opening up now before the vaccines even get a chance is a scary thought. We have talked to so many who just seem to think that because they have the shots that the world is just hunky dory and they don't need to follow any rules from now on except their own. A very stupid and selfish outlook, I say..Stay well..xxoJudy

Sandra Cox said...

I love this! Definitely something to pass down to future generations or even donate to a historian or museum.

Brenda said...

Fantastic
Perhaps make a book and let those who have ignored COVID read it...families going on as if it does not exist...love it

William Kendall said...

A very good way to have gotten through all of this.

Thelma said...

A very precious journal of a terrible time in our lives. Your handwriting and drawings are so beautiful.
I'm still waiting for my vaccine. We're behind here in Canada. At least it's coming.
There's hope for better days ahead.
Take care xo

21 Wits said...

Oh my goodness what a real joy and inspiration this is! Handwritten and the glorious and sometimes humorous drawings, such a wonderful treat. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Jeanie
Your covid journal was such a good idea and hopefully you'll be able to add a final epilogue very soon as the rest of the country catches up with vaccinations and things open up and go back to "normal" by late summer or early fall? It may be a new type of normal for another year, but at least we will be all less worried about dying from this horrible virus. I get vaccine dose #2 this week and I was happy to hear the new CDC advisory that I can see the grandchildren soon without wearing a mask. We may even be able to have Easter together this year, which is the first holiday we missed last year.

Lowcarb team member said...

Jeannie, your journal is amazing, well done for doing it.
I have kept a few notes in my diary over the past year but you have chronicled this time so well with words and sketches.
Amazing, and a great hand-me-down in years to come.

We are keeping fingers crossed that we may be able to see our two youngest grandchildren over the Easter Holiday Break but restrictions will not allow this at the moment.

Hope your week is going well.

All the best Jan

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Wonderful treasure Jeanie. I am sure the grands will love it. Something to look back and reflect.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Dear Jeanie,

What a lovely idea this is to keep a journal of these strange and difficult times. The pages contain such a variety of bittersweet memories, but, what rings through is the joy to be had in everyday things. This, for us, is the gift that the pandemic has brought.

And, the journal is made so much more personal by your delightful images. It adds to the charm that they are not professional, just a visual reminder of events, people and places.

At the start of the lockdown we counted the days and then weeks. Now, we just live each day, grateful to be safe and can hardly believe that a year will have gone by without our venturing outdoors except for medical reasons. Perhaps volume II will also be filled but, whatever, you are here to tell the tale and how wonderful is that.:):)

crackercrumblife said...

I absolutely love this. I turned my planner into a journal last year, recording what we did rather than what we were going to do. It is weird to look through. Including the "sickness" that the three of us had the first week of lockdown, that I now wonder about. I think about how everything all of us have recorded, in photos, on blogs, in journals, will be considered historical documents one day about these times. Anyway, I am hoping the end is in sight! Billy and I got the go ahead for our vaccines, as parents of a special needs child. I go Friday for my first one and I feel like after I will probably break down and cry.

Sandra Cox said...

Ridin with Biden. Woo Hoo!!!! Love it.

Friko said...

What a brilliant idea, I wish I had thought of something like that. Except,of course, I didn’t see anyone, didn’t celebrate anything, not birthdays, not special days, not flaming nothing. But the way you have written this diary and added your own slant by drawing stuff, that’s very good indeed. You will be glad you did this when the pandemic is over.

Sally Wessely said...

What a treasure! I journaled nearly every day for a year, but my journal captured none of the nuance nor the images that yours does. Thanks for sharing.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I love your journal! Are any museums in your area planning any kind of COVID exhibit? I bet they'd love to have something like that.

Naush said...

I love how your Journal looks. Its great that you are cataloging your activities, feelings and I love those drawings.
Thank you for sharing with us at Meraki Link Party. We're delighted that you joined the party.
Much love
Naush

Stevenson Q said...

Dearest Jeanie1 Your journal sure looks like a perfect Storybook! Especially when all this is over (hopefully it will and hopefully soon) perfect acounts with colorful and detailed art!

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