a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Mar, 2020

Another “must do” activity in the age of Coronavirus?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I got a journal for Christmas and it’s been sitting on my bureau in our bedroom, unused. I saw it this morning and I realized that I do actually need a journal for something right now … tracking our family’s life and movement during this pandemic.

When someone gets sick with a communicable illness like COVID-19 they’re always asked about their movements and who they may have come in contact with. If you asked me where I was the Tuesday before last I wouldn’t remember. Did I grab a coffee at the cafeteria that day? Who picked up the milk after I did? Is that the day we did a grocery run after work?

So I’m going to start jotting things down in a diary format, and not just my movements, but that of my family currently living at home here at Casa Fishbowl. I’m choosing to undertake this project with pen and paper instead of a digital format (e.g notes on my iPhone).

Also worth noting: Mental health experts say journalling is a great – not to mention cheap – way to sort out our thoughts. Just getting our feelings out on paper is recommended as a way to clear a busy brain. Writing is a cathartic act.

I will keep calm and write on! And for the record, I refuse to let any feelings of perfection get in the way here. This diary, and the contents, will not be fancy. No blossoming literary great here! And if I’m feeling uninspired I promise to be satisfied with simple bullet points and the occasional doodle. (Confession: the reason I don’t write in paper journals is because I don’t like my penmanship. It’s pretty dumb, eh?)

And who knows, maybe some time down the line someone will read my chronicle  and, well… I don’t know. Maybe it will open someone’s eyes one day to what it was like. After all, we are living history right now.

Related: If you’re thinking of starting a journal and want to treat yourself to a pretty new one, might I suggest one of these for sale at The Village Quire? This lovely, independent Westboro business had to close its doors temporarily and needs our support. (Thank you!)

1 Response to "Another “must do” activity in the age of Coronavirus?"

1 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive sleep and worry - a peek inside the fishbowl

March 28th, 2020 at 3:14 pm


[…] advice reminded of my coronavirus chronicle (a.k.a. my paper diary) in which I describe our comings and goings and family updates. I […]

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  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive sleep and worry - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] advice reminded of my coronavirus chronicle (a.k.a. my paper diary) in which I describe our comings and goings and family updates. I […
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive The importance of chocolate - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] Earlier this week we placed an order for grocery pick up at the Superstore. I had figured we might not get the toilet paper we wanted, or th
  • andrea tomkins: I watched a whole video that was sent to me about this... how to deal with groceries when you bring them home. The problem is there is so much conflic
  • andrea tomkins: It is true that things are changing so fast. It's hard to keep up. Strangely, I am a PC client and didn't receive the email everyone is talking about
  • Lynn: It's Thursday now, and this just goes to show you how fast things change - we got an email from PC Optimum yesterday letting us know that a) they will
  • Lynn: I just got back from a Costco run and this kind of thing was in my mind the whole way, and when I got back home. I washed my hands before unloading th
  • Amy: The quandary about grocery bags and where the contagion ends was concerning me the other day. Every item in the grocery order has been touched by mu

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


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