Wow. We are living through some crazy and unnerving times. None of us expected a worldwide pandemic would close down our schools, restaurants, stores, offices, and public life. But, here we are. And there is no time like right now to start a COVID-19 memory book.

We crave stories about troubled times and tales of hardship and survival. After all, we can read a hundred scholarly history books about World War II to understand the facts. But it’s Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl that makes us truly understand the day-to-day events and hardships she and other Jewish people experienced.

It’s the details of everyday life during a crisis that fascinate us. So, have you begun to record how the COVID-19 pandemic affected your family in 2020? Have you written down the ways it has changed your life? Have your children or grandchildren shared their thoughts on what’s happening? It’s time to start your memory book!

Write your memory book

Find some blank or gently used notebooks for you and your family members. Ask them each to write down a paragraph or two every couple of days about their daily actions and feelings. Writing helps keep kids off screens and sharpens their communication skills. But more importantly, they’ll have these memories in 20 or 30 years to share with their families.

5 topics for your COVID-19 memory book

If you need some help getting started, try writing about one of these topics:

  1. How has daily life changed? Write down the ways your schedule and activities changed with COVID-19. What do you miss doing? What are you doing to keep busy? Have you taken advantage of the extra time you might have at home? If yes, what are you doing? What is your new daily schedule? What do you do on the weekends?
  2. What’s your mental state? Talk about your emotions when you first learned about COVID-19 and how they have changed throughout the pandemic. What worries you most? What makes you feel reassured? How do you deal with the stress you’re feeling? What continues to bring your joy and happiness?
  3. Who is helping you through this? Highlight your most important relationships during this time. Who in your family have you turned to? Name the friends who are getting you through this. Which leaders do you believe in and trust? Write down examples of friendship and small gestures that have meant a lot to you.
  4. How are you staying connected to people? In 20 or 30 years, our 2020 technology will seem very slow and old-fashioned. Give details about the technology you’re using to work from home, connect with school, stay in touch with family and friends, and entertain yourself.
  5. What are you learning about yourself and the world? Your schedule is cleared. You have time to reflect on your reaction to the pandemic, as well as how society is reacting. Write down your observations, surprises, and disappointments. What makes you proud of your community and country? How will this change society? Any predictions about the future?

Create a 2020 time capsule

Back in 2019, before we had heard of COVID-19, we created a 2020 Family Time Capsule Kit to help you and your loved ones record the start your lives at the start of a new decade. We had no idea that 2020 would become this monumental of a year!

2020 Family Time Capsule Kit by Circa Legacy with mobile phone, photographs, coffee mug, and writing pen.You can order a printed 2020 Family Time Capsule Kit or a digital version to print at home. Either kit will help you document the details of your family, community, and the world during this unbelievable year. Our kit is fun and easy to fill out. It’s the perfect activity for family game night. And you can store your pandemic memory books in the time capsule envelope!

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vintage style still life with bundle of old handwritten letters and a stone heartDwayne Hanson of Nevada, Iowa, sitting in a recliner.