Saturday, October 31, 2020

Living History and Journal Writing

In March 2020 our lives changed. It happened so fast. We were enjoying having our grandchildren visit us in Florida. They rented a golf cart, biked around the island, went parasailing. But within two days our world fell apart. Our son and daughter-in-law were afraid their airport would close and they wouldn’t be able to get home. They packed up in a hurry and left. I was devastated. Then photos of empty grocery store shelves across the country appeared in social media and in newspapers. Fear of others, fear of going out overcame us. I made quick trips to Publix to stock up on non-perishables to take home with us. Paper goods and cleaning products were nowhere to be seen. Nothing like this had happened in our lifetime. Not since the 1918 Pandemic. Years ago my husband and I heard a talk by historian David McCullough. He said, if you want to be remembered, keep a journal. We took his advice seriously. For the last nine months I’ve documented the Novel Covid-19 pandemic, at least as it has affected our lives. We are living history, and it’s important to capture how this event has changed your life, and will continue to do so. This is a great chapter for your memoirs. In time, we hope, the pandemic will be behind us. What you and your family went through during this year or more will be invaluable family history.
One paragraph in my memoir titled “2020” states:’ By Friday, March 20, social distancing announced. Manatee beaches closed with the hope that tourists and college age kids return home. Although beaches closed, if you can get to the beach, you can be on it with limited number of ten. Island emptying out. Counted only five planes coming into Sarasota airport. CT, NY, NJ closing all non-essential businesses.”

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