As we mark the one year anniversary of the pandemic impacting Connecticut, we’ve been asking what we’ve learned and what we’ve lost. Restaurant workers, health care workers, educators and students all have different stories to tell about how lockdowns, shutdowns, and the reality of the disease has changed their lives. As part of this look back, we’re talking with the co-founder of a project that’s been asking people for their stories – their feelings, thoughts and fears – since the start.
The Pandemic Journaling Project was founded by anthropologists Sarah Willen of The University of Connecticut and Katherine Mason at Brown University. The online, anonymous portal collects journal entries in written words, spoken words and photos, in English and Spanish. And so far, it’s reached more than 1,300 people in more than 40 countries. It’s being used in college and high school classrooms, and by people who just want to tell their stories. I talked with Sarah Willen about what she and her team of researchers are learning about the pandemic from the more than 10,000 journal entries they’ve received so far.