Social Distancing Tip
Many people in the United States are now facing Social Distancing. That is, they are told to avoid social interaction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Advice from a historian in the Boston area: Start keeping a journal today, ideally a handwritten one if that’s within your ability. Write about what you’re seeing in the news, how yr friends are responding, what is closed in yr neighborhood or city or state or country. Save it.
I worked at a news organization on 9/11/2001, & I recognize the ways that my very online professional networks communicate in a time of global crisis. What’s going on this week is like that. The feeling in my gut about historical importance is nearly the same.
Sometimes you know you’re living through an event that will be in the history books very large. I study the history of public health and information technology and law and politics. There’s so much going on that touches all of those things this week.
We’ll be able to know what happened this week/month/year after the story rolls forward another 10 or 20 years. But personal stories don’t make it into the history books unless people are writing them down in the first place. Keep a journal if you can.
Write your stories down about what’s happening now, and tomorrow, and Monday. Do it by hand, on paper. The hand-writing will adjust your brain. It will take you offline and out of the swirl of news and hopefully, for a moment, into a little bit of peace in the midst of crisis.
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