Capture Your Family Story of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Age: 5+

Time: 60 minutes

Materials: materials to take notes


Focus: family team building

What is a Family Story?

I generally loved history class. I always wanted to read more first-person accounts of the events, though. In high school, I remember trying to ask my Italian grandmother to tell me what it was like in Florence, Italy, as a teenager during WWII.

She recalled some, but of course, time had faded her memory and there was much that I’m sure was too painful to share. I wished so much that she had written something down.

This pandemic is a shocking transformation for society as a whole in ways that will be chronicled in history books and others that will be lost to time.

When I tell the story of this time to my son when he’s an adult or even to his future children, time will have changed what I remember:

  • I may remember certain things about masks and roller-coaster emotions and shops being closed.
  • I may not remember just how scared I was when the grocery stores were empty or how glad I was to see my friends even sitting in our cars all spread out in a parking lot after two months of no contact.
  • I’ll likely forget how heartbreaking it was for my husband and myself to spend the first few weeks telling our son how every place he loved to go was not available and how much he hated seeing friends on video calls and not being able to play with them so we stopped trying to arrange virtual playdates altogether.
  • I might not remember how grateful I was that my neighbor without small children used his time to paint our shared fence. Or how I spent this time cultivating a community on a social platform called “Instagram” that ultimately led to a wildly successful e-course business. (A girl can dream can’t she?)

Whatever matters to your family is worth writing down, and it can be a beautiful bit of collective healing to get everyone’s words down on paper.

Whether we are barely coping or thriving with this new routine, we are all going through a transformation. 

A family pandemic journal is a chronicle of how your family is evolving, not just your personal feelings as a normal diary entry would be.

Keep notes on things like your reaction to local news events, encounters with neighbors or essential workers, school events, the cleaner air, how daily life has changed, etc.

Anything that is particular to this time is worth noting. At some point, your future self and future family will be amazed at how life has progressed.

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Somer Loomis

Somer is the Chief Content Officer at Raising Families living in Southern California with her husband and five-year-old son. She spent 10 years in the architecture field as a designer and medical planner and now applies her love of integrative thinking and big-picture planning to her family and career. Read full bio >>

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