I STARTED KEEPING a daily diary that centered on the Coronavirus pandemic in late February, 2020. It is a personal record of my days, which often include impacts of Covid-19, although to date I have been fortunate not to encounter the virus directly.
I also write down one or more news headlines every day, something that strikes me. And because I was reading Daniel Defoe's "Journal of the Plague Year," in the early days of my journal, I sometimes quote from Defoe's 1721 work, passages that resonate, often eerily, nearly 300 years later.
EARLY DAYS: increasing awareness of the coronavirus
NINE PAGES, NINETEEN DAYS OF CORONAVIRUS: We follow the shocking news in Italy, cancel our forthcoming trip there and drive from Southern California to our home in Bellingham, Washington -- as everything changes.
February 24 to March 13, below.
The virus hits Italy full forceBy late February, we realize we'll have to cancel our spring trip to Italy
INTO MARCH: Canceled, closed, stay home
EIGHTEEN MORE DAYS OF MARCH : The governor orders restaurants and bars closed, and cancels events and large gatherings. "Stay home, stay safe," is the watchword. Covid-19 hits too close to home with my son's sickness. Donald Trump's lies are appalling. We develop a new vocabulary and adopt new habits, deal with shortages of toilet paper and flour, follow the horrendous situation in New York City and a super-spreader event nearby. We have trouble sleeping. Bird sightings offer a brief respite.
March 14 to March 31, below.