Journal Your COVID-19 Experiences

Ship Log Blank Book
If you don’t have a journal handy, these handmade ship log books are available online in the Museum Shop.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are living through a historic moment. The NHA asks that you please consider keeping a journal during this time. First-hand accounts will be invaluable to future researchers, in addition to playing a helpful role in your mental health during a stressful period.

Getting started is easy! You can use a Word document, spiral-bound notebook, or even a day planner, if a larger blank page feels overwhelming.

If you’ve got children at home, you can encourage them to document their thoughts and experiences as well or even create a shared family journal, as children are chronically underrepresented in the historical record.

In creating your journal, think like a future historian. What would they want to know about this time? Be sure to include your name and the names of any other contributors as well as full dates for each entry.

When it comes to writing your journal entries, consider the following questions:

  • How has your daily routine changed as a result of the pandemic? Did you have to stay home to care for your children? Did your place of business close? Were you able to work from home? Did you still get paid during this time?
  • Did social distancing change your shopping habits – the frequency or what your bought?
  • How did you explain this to your children? Did you have to convince your parents or another family member to isolate?
  • Did anyone you know get sick? How did you cope with the potential of getting the virus?
  • How are you altering your habits, work life, and living arrangements to cope with the larger pandemic and Nantucket’s local shelter-in-place order?
  • You can also describe your thoughts on the pandemic, including how you feel about it, and your observations of what’s happening in society around us.

There is no right or wrong way to keep a journal. If you want your journal to be useful to historians in the future, try not to make your entries too cryptic. Explain things as fully as you can.

Hang on to your journal as long as you want. If and when you are ready to pass it on as a historical document, the NHA would be happy to add it to our collection to save and preserve for future generations. For more information, please contact the NHA Research Library at library@nha.org.

Banner photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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