Welcome to Day 2 of my #COVID19 holiday break, welcome to my ABCovid Journal, letters “F” through “J. If you hadn’t tuned into the Health Populi blog yesterday, 10th August 2020, you missed the first five letters of my Age of Corona alphabet, curated in my art journal created in the early weeks of the pandemic. Click the link to back-track and catch up with us…
I should explain why I’m sharing this project in the Health Populi blog this week. Last month, long-time colleague and friend Colin Hung interviewed me on the #HITMC broadcast to discuss a lovely recognition I’d received: HIT Advocate of the Year, a program highlighting various friends-in-the-field active in digital health, communications and marketing, sponsored by Medigy. Colin scheduled time with me to discuss how I came to do what I do, and in the long and winding road of a story, I picked up this journal to show him how I spent time early in the pandemic organizing my thoughts and feelings and data in the #GreatLockdown. My journaling has been a private thing; but in this case, having shared a snippet of it with Colin and folks who have been viewing the broadcast since put online, I decided to share it more widely here in my blog while on holiday this week.
There you have the rationale for this departure from my usual content….and now, on to the next five letters in the book…
“F” is for Fauci.
And what better “F” could I select for the coronavirus pandemic?
This is a particularly busy page in my journal, as you will come to see through the week…many pages have a lot of white space, with Dr. F’s tribute more crowded with images I couldn’t resist adding to his entry.
I started with a background page of scrapbook paper featuring the chemical elements. Then I found some vintage paper devoted to science education, and the wonderful piece of ephemera noting, “Hey there smarty pants” from the Authentique Scholastic line of scrapbook papers.
I added in an image from an old magazine ad for a microscope, and then printed out an Instagram-sized photo of a pin from a member of the “Dr. Anthony Fauci Fan Club.” [A note of pandemic pop culture: Dr. Fauci has become something of a science rock star for some people, making the cover page of In Style magazine].
The final three-word sticker on the bottom right of the page speaks volumes: “Believe in Truth.”
“G” is for Gloves.
This page speaks to our early COVID-19 obsession with finding gloves to cover our hands, seeking hygiene in our building up (sometimes hoarding) pandemic pantries baking in a lot of safety-in-cleanliness. This was Nielsen’s early observation for people living in Asia and Europe, a consumer behavior trend that then morphed U.S. health citizens into hygiene shoppers.
For the theme of the page, instead of focusing on the literal latex and medical glove shortage, I used images from vintage fashion papers when gloves were de rigueur for both women and men.
I layered in some fashion-themed scrapbook paper and a tagline from an old magazine ad: “Bracelets and gloves to charm the feminine heart.”
A surprise element here is the Echo tag that came from a pair of gloves I recently purchased.
Finally, I added a photo of a worker in an Amazon warehouse working the Prime line, wearing the iconic blue gloves of the pandemic moment.
“H” is for hand-washing.
Perhaps the most impactful and important public health tactic individual people can undertake in the Age of Corona is washing hands. We re-learned how to do this early on in the #StayHome era, finding out that 20-seconds was the magic timing for lathering up under water.
For this page, I first laid down hand-made paper from Florence, Italy (my happy place), with organic spots that looked viral to me.
I layered on top a printed image from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hand-washing page (“Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands,” cleverly adopting the iconic theme from Great Britain’s WWII mantra, “Keep Calm and Carry On”). On the left-hand page is a card taken from a hotel room bathroom asking for the occupant to “help make a difference” by re-using towels.
The page is finished off with a sticker quote on the bottom right: “something to remember.” I imagine one of the health behavior changes that will stick with most of us post-pandemic is our hand hygiene, honed over months of mindfulness in the coronavirus journey.
“I” is for Italy
I mentioned Florence, Italy, above as my “happy place.” My European Union citizenship comes from Italy, a nation I love and a culture very dear to me across many life dimensions: art and artisanship, food (agriturismo and Slow Food), faith, and love of family.
I started this page with a map of Italy, and found a very special photo of a street worker in front of the Tower of Pisa cleaning the neighborhood around this iconic site familiar to everyone.
I added in a photo of two maps of Italy at the bottom of the right side page, illustrating the fast-spread of the virus in the northern hotspot of the nation, an early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the bottom left, you’ll see a photo of the opera tenor Andrea Boccelli, who gave a moving performance to benefit the Italian pandemic effort, Music for Hope. We watched this over and over, mesmerized. [Bocelli was subsequently featured in Lady Gaga’s benefit for the pandemic, which you can savor here, along with the awesome Celine Dion, Lang Lang, and John Legend].
“J” is for Johnson (as in “Boris”)
From the Day 1 ABCovid-19 Journal published yesterday and here listening to my waxing lyrically about Italy, you now know I have a relationship with Europe. We started our marriage living in London, so it is natural for me to care about the spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.
On this page, I laid down some vintage paper I’ve collected for my London travel journals made over many years of traveling there.
The week I had created this page, Prime Minister Johnson was in the ICU in London dealing with the coronavirus. It was a tense few days for Britons, but thankfully the PM came out of the hospital and has recuperated, assuming his leadership duties fairly quickly thereafter.
For the page, I added in various ephemera — an image of the London Eye, a journaling card featuring Big Ben, and an antique travel card. The vertically placed British flag tells us right away the geographical “where” of the subject, and a little “Cheers” sticker bolsters hopefulness.
With BoJo’s page, we have completed our five letters of Day 2 of my ABCovid-19 journal. Tomorrow, you’ll learn how I saw “K” through “O” in the first months of the pandemic, with a look into Kirkland, WA, lockdown, masks, New York and nurse, and outbreak.
Stay tuned, and stay well!