The COVID Diaries: On One Entire Year of Screaming Inside My Heart

Dear Darling Ones,

Today marks an entire year of the COVID Diaries. This was a project I started because I didn’t want to forget what it was like to live in unprecedented times. I wanted to remember how I coped with the pandemic, current events, and being the caregiver to two young men in the middle of all this.

My heart is heavy and my eyes are full when I consider all that’s happened in the last 365 days. Selfishly, I think about everything I lost: Burgerboy & Charles; a romantic partner & my relationship with The Tibbles; countless hours of sleep & piles of self-esteem; respect for so many people & my carefully constructed facade that hid my loneliness. And all of doesn’t even include what happened to the rest of the world: 500,000+ dead, endless police violence, the deadliness of American white supremacy, ongoing misogyny, and the continuing damage of late stage capitalism on the human spirit — just to name a few.

How will we ever get over the trauma of the past year? When will we even have time to process it and how do we begin to do that?

Lately I’ve been having a lot of vaccination anxiety. Not so much the actual injection, but that I’m not doing enough to get it. Every day I see more and more of my Twitter pals flashing that card. Am I doing it wrong? I signed up for Minnesota’s vaccine connector and thought all I had to do is wait for someone to tell me its my turn. My friends tell me this is the correct course of action, and yet I feel as though I am failing as a citizen. I do not have the patience or emotional capacity to hunt down an open appointment. Hell, I get murderous when it takes more three emails/texts to schedule something. I will not survive a vaccine hunt.

ARGH. How can this whole ordeal continue to be so hard?

The one thing that hasn’t been so hard through all this was deciding to write. Doing the actual writing has frequently been difficult. Some days I feel like I come here and gut myself in 1s and 0s for no purpose. This blog and these diaries, are my heart and it is full of screams. I wire myself up and wring myself out to prove my existence to an unfeeling void.

Why? Because in some small way, despite the shitty voice in my head, I exist and continue to exist and that has to matter somehow, doesn’t it?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about when to end this COVID Diaries project. Way back in October 2020, after Maxwell moved out and I ended a romantic relationship, when I started writing more frequently, I thought I should stop calling them COVID Diaries. I thought to myself, nine months of these diaries, isn’t that just life at this point? But it is not. This is not just life, even now.

I don’t know when it will ever feel like just life again. But I have decided I will end the COVID Diaries once I’m fully vaccinated. That seems like a logical point to stop.

Don’t be mistaken, I’m not ending the blog. I Will Dare dot com and I have been together for nearly 21 years (July 31st is our anniversary) and while I never saw myself as a 50something blogger when I started, chances are really good that’s gonna be a thing that happens (in June 2022 when I turn 50).

Here’s to a speedy end to the COVID diaries,

P.S. In non-anniversary news I feel like I got hit by a bus today. I can’t seem to stay awake for more than three hours at at time. I took two entire naps while drafting up today’s letter. Do I have mono? Am I growing? What is going on with all this need for sleep?

P.P.S. My new imaginary boyfriend is 1972 Loudon Wainwright III because I’m reading his memoir even though I’m not his biggest fan something about his prose reminds me of the TTHM and thus I’m a little smitten.

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  1. John Wolf 20.Mar.21 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Jodi, you don’t know me, but I heard about you from my son and his family. When I saw you commenting on Twitter to something John said, my nosiness lead me to and the COVID Diaries. I enjoy your writing and wish that I could write myself. I love to read, but can’t put four words together before I get off track.
    Just thought I would let you know you had another follower before you end the COVID Diaries.

    1. Jodi Chromey 20.Mar.21 at 2:53 pm

      Nosiness is one of my favorite traits in a human being. I’m nosy too! Thank you for reading (and commenting). Your son & his family are some of my favorite people on this planet and watching the girls grow up has been an honor and pleasure. I’m so glad they’re in my life.


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