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Opinion: Keep a Coronavirus Journal

KSL Newsradio host, Amanda Dickson, urges listeners to keep a journal during times of stress. Photo credit: Getty Images.

This is an editorial piece about a coronavirus journal. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

Utah’s Morning News Host Amanda Dickson.

SALT LAKE CITY — I’m a journaler. I like to write things down. It helps me understand the world, what I’m thinking, whether my ideas are good ones or crap. I need to see them in black and white to know.

I had the feeling as I was keeping a journal the last few days that I ought to suggest to my friends that, even if you weren’t inclined to journaling normally, you might consider it during these unusual days. When the coronavirus is over and we’ve returned to normal, or the new normal, you may want to look back on your coronavirus journal.  Someday your family may want to know what the particulars were.

How to get started on a coronavirus journal

In order to help get you started, here are a few of my oh-so-not-terrific entries of late.

Thursday, 3/19/20 – Breathe. Breathe. I know my main job with homeschooling the boys is to guide them. Actually, my job is really different with Ethan than with Aiden because of Aiden’s learning challenges. Ethan gets his assignments and pretty much does them without too much argument. God bless that boy. If I have not told him how grateful I am for him and his attitude, I need to do that today. He is stepping up so much.

Aiden is too, but it’s harder for him. He needs more help, and sometimes it’s help I can’t give. We have an appointment to talk one-on-one with two of his teachers tomorrow. God bless them, too. I know they have so many students to help. I will feel like a success today if we get the 45 minutes of reading done. Yesterday Aiden’s reading was much better toward the end. I think he likes this book, “Stargirl.”

Cuteness wearing off

Friday, 3/20/20 – ARGGHHHHHH! Boys did not want to do any school work today. “Come on Mom. It’s Friday.” “Did you not go to school on Fridays?” “Yeah, but it’s Friday!” What the hell does that mean? I go to work on Friday, they should have to go to school. Where did they get to be so persistent with their arguments, anyway? And their cuteness doesn’t help. I reduced their hours, which probably was not good parenting, but I just can’t be the bad guy all the time.

Sunday, 3/22/20 – The one thing I will remember about the coronavirus time with fondness is the togetherness. (That may also be the thing that drives me crazy before this is over, too.) Today Cameron came over and we all watched the new Star Wars movie downstairs. Dad put this blanket up over the big entryway to the family room to block out the light so it felt like a movie theater down there. Afterward, Dad made pork enchiladas because they didn’t have chicken. The boys thought they were going to hate it, but they loved it. HAHAHA! Another great thing about this time – forced to try new food.


Tuesday, 3/24/20 – Working from home is SO HARD! I feel so disconnected from everyone. I can’t hear the producer or Tim or the board operator or the reporters or anyone. I just sort of speak when spoken to. I feel like I don’t know what’s going to happen until it does like I’m a listener of my own show. I had a cry when I got off the air today to let out the stress, and then I felt dumb. People are dying from this virus. People have lost their jobs and are worrying about feeding their families, and you’re crying because you feel awkward!

Breathe. Your feelings are okay, sister. Everyone’s feelings are okay, no matter what they are. This is one strange rodeo we’re going through, and it feels hard for all of us in different ways. Aaron is right to focus on gratitude every day, but it’s okay if you get down once in a while, too.

These were examples of some of my recent journal entries. Here’s a great article that goes into a little more depth about journaling, and how to get started.