These are strange and scary times – history-making times. This novel coronavirus may likely spawn novels as well as science papers, but most interesting will be the true stories of survival. That’s where you can help, besides by sequestering yourself and doing your part to not spread the contagion. Write for yourself, write for your children, write for future generations. Keep a journal, start a memoir, write a short story or essay or even a poem. Preserve boots-on-the-ground history in this war against the virus.
Here are a couple bits of information to start you off:
This coronavirus apparently began in late 2019 in the crowded outdoor food markets of Wuhan, China, actual origin unknown to date but thought to be a jump from wild animal to human.
The virus soon spread to other Asian countries, then to the US and Europe due to travelers coming out of China. CDC Confirms First Case of Coronavirus in the US on January 20, 2020, near Seattle, with a second in Chicago on January 23, both from travelers returning from Wuhan.
Below are a some writing prompts:
What did you think when you first heard about COVID-19? How did your thoughts and feelings about the virus change as time went on and world fears grew?
Did/do you follow news closely, and if so, did/do you feel adverse emotional effects from it? Which media do you get your information from?
What do think about the responses from national leaders? From your town/city/state?
Is your family careful about “social distancing” and cleanliness when going outside or to the store? How are you getting groceries, medicines, supplies? If necessary, have you been able to see your doctor(s)?
Do you think everyone is overreacting? If so, why do you think that? If so, do you still follow social distancing and cleanliness practices, and if not, are you respectful of others who are?
If you or your spouse/partner have lost your job(s), are you laid off or are you furloughed? If you own or manage a business, what has happened there? What are your thoughts, fears, hopes about your job/business/employees and finances?
If you live in a very rural area with no hospital near, how are you and your neighbors reacting? Do you feel safe there? Do you have any special concerns?
If you have children, how are you all adapting to online classes? What do your kids think about having to stay home from school? If you are working from home with kids around, how is that going?
If your area is having “shelter at home,” how is your family coping? Is anyone bored or lonely, or perhaps enjoying it? How are you passing the time?
How have your elderly family members been affected? Are you having troubles with them not taking precautions seriously?
If you or a family member or friend are a “front line” worker (healthcare, public safety, grocery or delivery, etc.) how are you/they coping? What are your/their personal stories?
If you or a family member or friend have been sick with the virus, tell this story.
Are you doing anything special to help others? Checking on elder friends and neighbors?
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I hope everyone is behaving and staying safe! We are experiencing some astonishing history — be sure to come out of it alive and well. And be kind and thoughtful, because that makes a big difference especially during times of hardship. I’m doing fine and keeping busy, but sure appreciate the homemade cookies my neighbor left on my doorstep!
My fellow life writing enthusiast, ghostwriter Kim Pearson, has her own set of writing prompts on her website page for Events & Classes.