What is a diarist? It’s a person who writes a diary.
I recently read The Splendid and the Vile and, to be redundant, it was splendid! One of the interesting things about this book about the London Blitz was how Erik Larson used information from diaries throughout his book.
Starting in 1937, people in England volunteered to keep diaries for a project called ‘Mass Observation’. Here is a great article in Time Magazine that describes this in detail. These diaries left an invaluable record as to what life was like in England during WW 2.
Diarists basically noted on a regular basis what was going on in their lives from the mundane to the sublime. They went shopping, had tea, the air raid sirens went off, they went to a bomb shelter, they had more tea.
Here we are in 2020 during the largest pandemic in 100 years. It has been likened to the London Blitz in many ways.
Back in April, the New York times wrote an article suggesting we all keep a Coronavirus diary as a way of helping us make sense about what is happening and to look back on when this is in our rear view mirror (thanks JLMH for the tip). Instead of calling them diaries, they can be called ‘jottings’. That works for me.
I know some people keep journals on a regular basis. I don’t happen to be one of them but I do faithfully keep a calendar and have for years. After reading the NYT article, I am doing more than just writing down my ZOOM meetings/ cocktail parties. I am including where I went each day, what I did, what I had for dinner and my wine consumption (😊)! I also write down what books I am reading or listening to and what I am watching on the screen. I note any major changes in the COVID landscape, as well.
Thanks to our daughter who has used one for years, I find my Moleskin Weekly Planner works just fine. I prefer the soft sided version, but the hard sided one has more cover options. One side of the page is a space for each day and the other side is just a lined page. It is perfect for my ‘jottings’.
And if, heaven forbid, I am diagnosed with COVID 19, I can easily retrace my steps and see who might have been in close contact with me.
So, think about taking up ‘jotting’ and I will see you on Wednesday.
Happy birthday to my first friend and to two of our son-in-laws!