Documenting Your Pandemic Experiences

part of a page from the Velma Nisius diary

Are you writing about your new normal during COVID-19? Would you like to share your experiences and have them preserved for future generations?
EKU Special Collections & Archives is looking to collect journals from students, faculty and staff to document how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected work and life at EKU.
Write down your thoughts at least twice a week for the rest of the semester or longer. If you are teaching classes, consider encouraging students to participate, or turning this into a class assignment.
General Information

  • Keep a record of your daily life during this unprecedented time.
  • Possible formats: journal, a blog, an e-portfolio, a film, a series of artworks, a short story, poems, a series of haikus, etc.
  • This is not routine writing and composing.
  • You do not have to write or do things for the journal every day. Keep your writing and composing close by, so you can jot things down to return to them later. Jot things down, a few words here and there, but then compose them in full sentences.
  • Remember to date your entries.

Prompts for What to Write

  • What has been shocking, unexpected, unpredictable, unknowable, and new in the past few weeks?
  • What is it like to live today knowing that we do not know what tomorrow and the day after will bring?
  • When you read an article that you find telling, produce a link in your journal (and/or save the article as a pdf) and write a few brief reflections. Include photographs, from the press and those that you take.
  • How will we deal, social, psychologically, with the increasing number of deaths all around us? Many are saying that around the globe our lives will not be the same again.
  • Write about what you learned in your courses, about you and your education, all of this today in this maelstrom. Those connections are what the liberal arts are about.
  • Think of your children, your grandchildren, your friends down the road, who will ask you what it was like during that pandemic.
  • When you think about the individual in this pandemic, think of yourself and you can write about yourself, think and write about other individuals, and about your relationships to others, to your society, societies, to your loved ones, your friends, your institutions.
  • When you think about society, think about parts of it: death, disease, Wuhan province, the Chinese government, medical systems, Italy, the stock market, shaking hands, online classes, isolation, your town, your family, rich people and poor, social distancing, public events, the market, vulnerabilities, hoarding, hospitals, politicians, health insurance, selfishness, fear, sick leave, economic policies, exponential expansion, individualism, cooperation, competition, solidarity … and more.

Ready to Donate Your Journal?

Note: General information and writing prompts are summarized from: Bromley, A. E. (2020 Mar 17). ‘Write it down’: Historian suggests keeping a record of life during pandemic. UVA Today.
Documenting Your Pandemic Experiences is part of our Share How COVID-19 Impacts You project, which provides information on writing down your own experiences and on interviewing others about theirs.
Published 30 March 2020 | Updated 25 April 2020