How I’m Documenting This Pandemic
We are living history. Nothing like this has happened before; these are unprecedented times. No matter how you feel about the events that have unfolded in 2020, one thing is for sure, this will be remembered. But how will it be remembered?
Do you remember 9/11? How you felt? Where you were? Don’t you wish you had some type of document to look back on and remember all of those emotions and moments in our country?
That is why I created my coronavirus journal and that is why I believe everyone should be documenting this “stay at home” era no matter how you decide to do it. It’s something I hope to look through with my kids maybe someday but also just for myself. There’s a whole mix of emotions going on and I want to record how I’m feeling, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I started writing things down the beginning of March and even now in May, I barely remember how I was feeling but looking back through my journal, it helps take me back. I know this will be something fun to look through in the years to come!
However you decide to document, (it doesn’t have to be fancy! Just start writing things down in a notebook, take screenshots of news articles, take pictures of what everyday life is like), just make sure it’s archival. That is why I use Persnickety Prints for everything. They made the journal and all the prints inside, I don’t do my photo printing anywhere else! This is not sponsored in any way, shape, or form, I just love their products and will talk about them forever more!
What does archival mean? It means it will last. They don’t use any ink for their photos. Your picture is actually embedded in the paper using a digital negative, just like the old days when we used to use film! This means it can get wet, you can dunk it, you can scratch it, nothing will come off. They won’t fade, they won’t yellow, they won’t bleed. Think about your grandparents’ photos and their photo albums. That’s what we’re going for here! Without further ado, here’s some shots of my coronavirus journal from Persnickety Prints.
My Coronavirus Journal
Supplies I used:
- Journal (Coronavirus Journal from Persnickety Prints)
- Photos (all printed from Persnickety Prints)
- EZ Tools Chisel Tip Glue Pen (my personal favorite, use whatever glue you’d like!) available at Amazon or any craft store like Michaels
NOTE: these are affiliate links
- Micron PN Pen (my personal favorite. It’s archival and writes more like a normal pen than the other Microns if you’ve used them in the past) available at Amazon or any craft store like Michaels
NOTE: these are affiliate links
- Crayola Supertip Markers (I use these for some lettering) available at Amazon or any craft store like Michaels
NOTE: these are affiliate links
- Washi Tape
I ordered this journal from Persnickety Prints, as I stated above. The cover art was actually designed by Aubrey Willis (she works for Persnickety) using Ali Edwards’ designs. The journal is 6in x 8in in size. I chose the dot paper for the pages to make it easier to line up my photos and keep my writing straight but you can go with whatever you prefer.
I chose to handwrite my timeline as I started this journal back in early March. Persnickety Prints has since come out with an adorable printed timeline so all you have to do is print it out and paste it in! They even have a blank one if you’d like to create your own and write in your own important events.
The word art at the bottom (“coronavirus”) is from Ali Edwards.
I included a lot of screenshots in my journal, mostly news articles but also some graphics of new everyday words and phrases such as “social distancing.”
The “social distancing” word art is from Ali Edwards.
And the beginning of the my favorite section, memes! I’ve been collecting these over the course of several weeks and it’s by far my favorite part. Friends and family have also sent me their favorites which is a fun collaborative effort. I have 4 or 5 pages of memes in my journal now. Perhaps a bit overkill but that’s the beauty of it being my journal! You can craft it however you’d like.
The social distancing graph is printed on a 3×4 and the memes are 2x2s that I printed on a 6×8 collage from Persnickety Prints’ website and then cut out at home.
These pages take up a lot of space in my journal. I printed out these screenshots from an instagram account with facts and statistics about the virus. Check them out here: part 1 and part 2. I printed these screenshots as 4x4s.
Next I included a coloring page I downloaded from ChalkfullofLove. I just printed it at home and colored it in.
March 12, 2020 will forever be the day that I waited in line at the grocery store for over an hour and half because I didn’t have anything to make for dinner but it was also the day that the Utah Jazz players were all tested for COVID-19 and people went a little crazy stocking up…these are the details I won’t remember in a few years and I want to make sure that I document it so that I never forget how crazy this whole experience was!
On March 18th, we had an earthquake here in Utah. I took some screenshots of some news articles as well as some Instagram stories from a local news station of some of the damage. Nothing like being quarantined at home and also having your house shake every couple hours for over 2 weeks!
I received this postcard in the mail from the CDC so I just taped it in using some washi tape.
The “in the news” word art is from Ali Edwards.
Utah was never under a full shelter in place but I did take screenshots of the governor’s recommendations and updated press briefings.
We also hosted a virtual game night with some friends across the country! While I’m documenting the facts of the pandemic, I’m also documenting personal events as well. I didn’t include pictures because they’re my private thoughts but I have several pages of just plain journaling. I wrote down our experiences, how the pandemic has affected both myself and my husband, what our reality looks like, etc. I think however you are processing everything, it’s important to take a step back and just digest it all. Journaling has always been my go to method but I know it’s not for everyone.
More of our day to day, including church at home as well as some more news article screenshots. Again, these are all 3×4 prints that I’m using here.
Besides game night, paint night is my other favorite quarantine activity! I’ve participated in several events hosted by Yaymaker, I highly suggest checking them out. I also have done a couple paintings on my own so I made so to include pictures on other spreads in my journal as well.
My ultimate goal is to just document our day-to-day and how we’re filling this time. We don’t have kids so we have nothing but time these days. If you do have kids, take pictures of what you’re doing! Homeschooling, baking, crafts, walks, TV, whatever it is. I promise you’ll want to look back on these memories. Persnickety Prints actually has a really cute printable interview on their blog that you can either have your kids fill out or fill it out yourself.
Not all of my coronavirus journal is completed and that’s okay. For right now, I’m focusing on the time sensitive information, our day to day life, news article screenshots, etc. I wanted to include a piece about the economic ramifications of this pandemic (I do have an economics degree if you didn’t know that about me) but I need some time for the dust to settle a little bit before I write anything down. I mapped out the space for it but I’ll come back to it later. And that’s okay! I’ve had many of you message me saying that you want to document or do something but you just don’t have the time to sit down and do it. My advice to you, grab a notebook and just start writing. It doesn’t have to look pretty and it doesn’t have to be fancy. Take some pictures with your phone and get them printed. You can add them with washi tape right over your writing if you want or leave some blank pages to just paste them in. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. If you don’t want to do any journaling, that’s totally fine too! Grab a photo album and pop some pictures in or simply glue them into a journal like this one. Whatever you do, I believe in documenting your life story in whatever format works best for you.
Some More Thoughts
Hopefully that was helpful! This has turned into a very long blog post so I apologize. If you made it all the way to the bottom, thank you so much for reading all of my rambling thoughts! At the end of the day, this blog post isn’t about how pretty my journal is or to guilt you into thinking you need to scrapbook this pandemic, that’s not what this is about at all. In fact there are many things about my coronavirus journal that I wish I did differently, it’s all a learning process and you figure out your style as you work through it. Ultimately, my goal is record what I’m feeling right now in the middle of this “new normal” and hopefully preserve these memories for years to come. I hope that you gained some inspiration or some new ideas and I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you’re documenting the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020! Stay safe and stay healthy out there.