2020 Community Diary

This is a community diary of the 2020 COVID-19 virus pandemic compiled by Fairport Harbor Public Library. The entries will be compiled for everyone in the community to read.

Give us your thoughts, impressions, experiences, and feelings about your daily life during the pandemic – in any format – a paragraph, poem, artwork, or story… submit as many entries as you like. You may log in with your Google account and add photos or drawings to your diary entry. Although recorded, your Google identity will not be visible to the library staff or the public.

Submit your diary entry here https://t.co/7C0xvVmNJb?amp=1 


My name is Noah Wilder. I was born on a snowy night, during the initial peak of the Coronavirus pandemic, in April of 2020.

Life got a bit crazy leading up to my arrival. COVID-19 came to town, and things changed overnight. Our governor closed schools and suddenly all of my four siblings were learning from home. This made things VERY noisy at my house most days. My daddy was working from home. Businesses were closed. We had to stay away from people to make sure my mommy was safe while she was still pregnant with me, and also to protect each other, and the most vulnerable around us. It was hard being isolated to our house. My dad only left the house to buy groceries. My brother and sisters didn’t leave at all. They missed school and their friends and teachers so much. My mom went out only for her doctor’s appointments, where she had to be screened before entering the building for symptoms of being sick. No one was allowed to be with her. You could feel the stress in the doctor’s office. Things had changed so quickly and everyone was on edge. People were scared and there was so much uncertainty. People were scared for themselves, but mostly they were scared for their loved ones, their neighbors, and friends, and the elderly. But Fairport did exactly what Fairport always does in hard times. They came together. They reached out and helped feed the elderly. They checked in on each other. They sent baby gifts, and flowers, and cupcakes! They made masks to donate to those in need. They had meals delivered to their neighbors and friends. (I was practically grown on Rego’s alone for that last month, thanks to all the food everyone sent over!) During a time of great stress, my mom felt supported more than she ever has, thanks to our community. And when the day finally came for me to be born, things went so smoothly. And for a little while we were able to forget about the world around us. The pandemic no longer the first thing on everyone’s minds. We felt safe and loved. Of course my mom will worry about how tiny I am and the unknown risks of this illness. But coming into this world as everything around us has shut down has had its perks. My entire family is home to hold me and take care of me together. There are no schedules. There is no rush. Everyone can focus on how cute I am and how good I smell 😜 And one day we will look back on this time and be proud. Of how we got through it together.


What Day Is It?

What can I build? What should I cook?
Write a story, read a book.
(I think it’s Tuesday)
How fast can I run? How far can I bike?
Plant the garden, go for a hike.
(Yesterday was Tuesday)
What bird is that? Can I eat this plant?
I want to go camping, they told me I can’t.
(Tomorrow is Tuesday)
Should I write a poem? Would anyone like it?
This was more fun that I’d care to admit.
(Seriously, what day is it?)


Fun Loud
Math English Science Social Studies Art Music
A place to learn and grow to make memories and friends for life

Ms. Bauer, Staff at Harding High, Fairport Harbor, OH


Life has been very odd to be honest. My family and I have been going on walks and car rides to get out of the house. Me and my brother do our school work in the morning and a bit in the afternoon. After that, we go outside for a bit if it’s a nice day otherwise we stay at home and play video games. It’s kind of cool but sad at the same time to live through a pandemic!

A Student, Harding High School, Fairport Harbor, Ohio


I miss waking up early and starting my day by driving to the beach! I miss seeing all of the McKinley kiddos!! I hope we can get back to normal, enjoy our summer, and I can get lots of camping in!! I have learned to bake a ton of new things, trained my dog to walk on a leash, shake his paw, and sit! I also started a big garden too!!

Miss Crystal, McKinley lunch monitor/Latchkey Coordinator, Painesville, OH


with strength comes weakness yet people say our only strength is our only weakness so when is there a time we aren’t strong

Owen, a student from Fairport


when life turns and faces you in the eye of the storm 2 is greater than 1 should be the first thing to say

Owen Carty, a student from Ohio


It’s been a hard week. I was really hopeful for May 4 to be back to work in the classroom. Teaching to a computer has been difficult. I’ve been very dizzy probably due to the long hours I’ve spent working on my screen and phone. I haven’t been sleeping well. I’ve been very sad for what my students have lost. They can do these things in the future, I know, but for our seniors, it was their last hoorah. Some had big plans for this season. Class trips, bonding with friends and saying good bye to teachers. Pizza parties with their classes and movie day, even field day. It’s gone. Teachers and students lost closure to what was a really good year. Losing the spring sports seasons has been difficult to say the least. People can say it’s just sports, and “get over it,” but it is more than that. Anyone who has ever played knows what sports can teach you, or prepare you for. Sports are a way of connecting with others and watching people grow and I didn’t get that this year. One fun event we always do in the spring is host the OHSAA district baseball tournament. This year, it’s been canceled. I have seen the faces of those who played their last game on that field. I have seen the faces of those who went on to the next round. I guess I am still in shock about losing all of this. It’s very sad. If you know a teacher, a student or a senior, we could use your encouragement. It is very hard to not have the social interactions daily. A screen cannot replace our teaching jobs. A student cannot learn best behind a screen. I hope we can all get through this time safely and healthy on the other end. I hope all our library friends are healthy. We miss you.

Teacher at Harding HS, from Painesville, OH


I’m am happy to be with my new little brother but upset I can’t see my friends.

From: Emma, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


I think we all wish this had never happened but, it did so we will have to get through it together by staying 6 feet apart, washing our hands after going out, and staying home. This is to protect each other.

From: Olivia, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


the end of life. Some of us will lose people but we can get through it it isnt the end of life

From: Megan, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


During this pandemic, I have stayed at my Grandmother’s house in Columbus for most of the time while in this isolation we made some crafts one of the crafts we made were paper flowers and if we went to a store we would hand them out to the employees and others.

From: Faithy, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


My feelings about the Pandemic is I am having a lot of fun. I enjoy spending time with my parents, and my dog. I feel kind of sad and mad that I don`t get to go to school, I miss my Teachers and my friends. I have been riding my bike a lot and I get sad that I can’t stop and play at the playground. My mom and I did watercolor portraits of each other and they turned out really good. We have been making a lot of home-cooked meals and I`m learning a lot from my mom. She taught me how to make bread, and start seeds for our garden. I built a potato bug farm. I feel like my daily life during this pandemic has been really relaxing and has been a good time for me to become more organized. I just can’t wait for everything to go back to normal. I wish I could finish my last year of elementary school with everyone at McKinley.

From: Clio, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


Some of my thoughts is when is this gonna end.And its crazy how we cant go to school stores or anywhere.I feel like when were at school it was easier.The thing that’s hard is we didn’t usually go on are chromebook to do stuff like this.But I’m glad were at home because i can play more games play basketball.

From: Kam, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


I love my Cousin Gabe

From: Olivia, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


I know we’re all stuck at home right now but the doctors, nurses, firefighters, and all other community helpers are trying their best to keep us calm safe and healthy. — Mikayla

From: Mikayla, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


Life has been weird during this pandemic. It is really strange not to be in school. My mom is no longer working so she is able to stay home with us. The days seem to go by really fast but there is not much to do. I don’t like not being able to see my cousins and my friends. I really miss my cousin and my friends. I really wish things could go back the way they were before.

From: Ben, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


This has been fairly easy for me a person whom stays home often and leave for taking the dog on a walk and shopping i have been pretty bored but I still miss my friends and family that I cant see.

From: Anthony, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


Hi, Diary Its Aniyah and i wanna tell u that it has been a little hard when i am not at school working well its been easy some parts but hard others its also scary but we will see what happens so i hope that we will all see each other vary soon well to my classmates yeah so we will talk more about this later bye.

From: Aniyah, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


I miss my friends family and teachers and its really boring at home.

From: a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH
I want to be an animal behaviorist when i grow up i have a lovely family and great friends i love math and learning in general.


I am very happy to be able to spend more time with my family.😃 But then i am very sad i miss my friends and teachers. 😭 i cant wait till everything goes back to normal.

From: Dominick, a student at McKinley Elementary School, Fairport Harbor, OH


“I’m living history!”

“I’m living history!” My now-seventeen-year-old son gleefully said these words on March 12, 2020 when Governor DeWine ordered all Ohio schools to close for three weeks. As a voracious reader of historical fiction, that sentence has echoed in my mind the past six weeks.

“I’m living history!” DeWine’s March 12th order marked when COVID-19 hit home for our family. Up to that point, it had been a distant rumble on our social media feeds and in conversations with family and friends. Its frequency in those areas had increased over the past two months. But it got lost for me in balancing caring for my out-of-town father and the needs of my immediate family and church family.

“I’m living history!” My sister texted me DeWine’s news and my initial response was “Woohoo! No school uniforms to wash for three weeks!” Right after that, I shared the news with our son. He shouted the now infamous sentence, “I’m living history!” I inwardly rolled my eyes and thought, “Great job, self. History is being made and you focus on laundry!”

“I’m living history!” On Friday, March 14th my pastor-husband and the head elder at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Chesterland made the then-progressive decision to close the church building out of concern for the congregation’s large populations of elderly and health care workers. This meant canceling the next day’s forum on the possibility of changing service times and worship styles. (The irony is not lost.) Along with our vicar (a pastor-intern), my husband used the talents he picked up from his indie film making hobby to live stream a single service from his office with no musical accompaniments. The following day he posted a devotional video message. Within a week, it had more views than all the other combined church videos up to that point. By the following week, my husband and Vicar Chris Ryan were daily producing online material which was reaching far beyond our church membership. Two Sundays after their initial online service, it moved into our sanctuary. This allowed for a more worshipful setting and music to be provided by both our organist and praise team.

“I’m living history!” As a lifelong Christian it was initially very odd at first for me to sit alone at a table in our home library with an iPad and “do church.” But the positives quickly emerged. Not only can I have coffee and a snack during church, my faraway family and friends can “join” me. I’m now in the habit of watching church and texting during it with a dear college friend. Our regular schedules would never allow this to happen week after week, let alone for Holy Week and Easter. Because our congregation currently only has one service (instead of three) and all other commitments have been canceled, I am able to enjoy “Sabbath rest” for the first time in my adult life. It is unbelievably luxurious to relax and read on Sunday afternoons and evenings.

“I’m living history!” Remote learning for my high school junior son is an uncanny blast from the past. He has only been attending a brick-and-mortar school for two years after being homeschooled. When we stopped homeschooling in the middle of his freshman year, our mother-son relationship was very poor, with lots of friction. Thankfully, things have vastly improved between us in twenty-five months. That first week of remote learning was just bizarre. He did his schoolwork in our home library, just like old times. I tried to change things up as much as possible by doing a lot of yard work. We tip toed around each other, haunted by the ghosts of our past selves. Thankfully, he was able to work in his bedroom beginning the second week of remote learning. Although we are still extra courteous, things seem more natural. I truly enjoy his funny sense of humor throughout the day. He enjoys school only taking 2-3 hours a day instead of being gone from home for a minimum of nine hours. He also memorably celebrated his cold and rainy seventeenth birthday by exploring the contents of our walk up attic with my husband in between yummy meals I made him.

“I’m living history!” On March 22nd, Governor DeWine signed the Shelter in Place orders. We quickly learned “places of worship” were considered essential services. We were thrilled because this meant my husband wouldn’t have to bring home his reference books. It also means our church secretary still works each weekday morning. My husband only goes in the mornings, freeing him up to be home in the afternoons and evenings. This is unprecedented in our twenty two years of being a clergy couple. He is my best friend so I cherish all this extra time with him.

“I’m living history!” I spent a large portion of the previous seven months caring for my widowed father. I have welcomed the stay-at-home order. It has allowed me to get caught up on much neglected housework and complete some long overdue projects. I also have large chunks of time to cook and read, two of my favorite activities. I joined a Facebook group that is reading together “Rilla of Ingleside,” the final Anne book. It is moderated by two published L. M. Montgomery scholars so it is very intellectually stimulating. I walk half marathons as another hobby. My twelve-week training program assumes one can easily walk three miles. The past few Junes I have started that training with a very loose definition of “easily.” Almost immediately in March, I started walking around our neighborhood. I can currently (and truly) easily do seven miles.

“I’m living history!” There’s one big downside to living history – you don’t know how the story ends. Will our elderly loved ones stay healthy? Wait – I’m not that much younger than the average Ohio virus patient. So much controversy surrounds the handling of the pandemic. How will the historians of the future critique it? We found out this week schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. But what about next school? Right now, my husband can get nearly everything on our grocery list each week. How long will the food supply chain remain in place? Will Amazon be able to continue to supply us with other items? Crude oil futures tanked this week and unemployment numbers continue growing in the other direction. Will we be all be swapping “quarantine stories” at Thanksgiving get-togethers or are we in for something much bigger and longer?

“I’m living history!” Will someone in the future write a historical fiction book that takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic? I know it will be a book for which I don’t have to use my imagination.

From: Sue Matzke, Homemaker/Pastor’s Wife


When the shelter in place began, I was reading “50 States 5000 Ideas”. My older sister, Cindy, requested, I share information about one state, each day, with her, my younger sister, and Dad. I was on Michigan when we began, but when we got to Wyoming, it was suggested, I start at the very beginning (sounds like a song from a movie), so I did. I called my daily reports, “Now you are as smart as I am”, because when I was a teenager, my Mom would read some obscure story from the newspaper and then state, “Now you are as smart as I am”. This is one report.

Good morning! And thank you for tuning into radio station W.A.M.K. for another edition of…Now you are as smart as I am!

Well audience, our state today is quite well known for its national parks. But, let’s see if we can amaze you with some lesser known facts. Are you as smart as I am? How many of these questions can you get right? Answers will be given at the end of this show.

*What is the name of the city founded in 1867, that metaphorically rose from the ashes of the ancient Hohokam Indian civilization? Hint: Professor Dumbledore had one as a pet.
*What is the main ingredient in the popular Sonoran dish? It also includes; bacon, pinto beans, chopped onions, tomatoes, and jalepeno sauce.
*This city earned its 15 minutes of fame when it purchased this famous fairy-tale item and had it shipped across the Atlantic. Name the city, and the item purchased.
*Fill in the blanks to figure out the two best books from this state. “The ________ Trees” “The__________ ___________ Gang” Hints; vegetable, animal, tool
*And your final question for the day, unscramble these two words to solve the two best movies for this state. The were produced in 1939 and 1960. I will speak slowly so you can write it down. t..h..s..c..a..g..e..a..o..c and c..o..p..h..y..s
*Did I say final? Well, I do have a bonus question, worth two homemade cookies next time you stop in the statation, to the first caller with the correct answer. *Name the two famous western characters buried side by side, although not married. On a side note, I climbed over a locked cemetary fence, while my family waited anxiously to make a quick getaway or deny knowledge of, so I could view their resting place.

Are you ready to see if you are as smart as I am? Here we go.

First answer: Phoenix
Main ingredient in Sonoran: hot dogs
City and fairy tale item: Lake Havasu City and the London Bridge
Fill in the blank books: bean, monkey, wrench
Unscramble the best movies: Stagecoach, 1939, Psycho, 1960
Bonus question. Do you know this one? Why is was none other than Calamity Jane, and Wild Bill Hickok.

So, how did you do with Arizona’s state facts? Regardless, I hope you learned something new and will tune in again tomorrow morning to station W.A.M.K. to hear about another state, and see….if you are as smart as I am. This is Tracy Turntable saying stay cool, like ice cream, until next time. In case wondering…W.A.M.K. stands for: Where Are My Keys?

From: Tracy Listing, retired; librarian, youth director, Disney host, PCV, Raised in Indiana


I wonder sometimes how my parent does it. They see a lot of tragic things in their job. Especially now. They see disheartening and terrible fates crumble around them. They are by their patients side comforting them while they hurt or while they die when the patients family can’t be there. They wear face masks that are uncomfortable and hurt, but are necessary. They wear a smile through their masks for their patients, but is that really how they feel inside? They not only care for their patients, but fear they will get their own families sick when they come home after their long shifts. We don’t give our nurses enough even though they give us their all. Nurses have always been heroes and will continue to be until the end of time.

From: Child of a Nurse on the Front lines


Putting on my robe I notice bleach stains on the arm
Seems as if everything has bleach stains now,
My washing machine runs constantly
The skin on my hands is so tight
And as I am drinking my hot tea,
I swallow,
I take a bleach soaked cloth and wipe down all the door handles,
Tom gets the mail with gloves on
Our grocery delivery will set in the garage for three days
As I drink my hot coffee
And make sure I can take a deep breath
I message my son with love notes ,he sends me copies of love notes from his patients.
I message my Sisters to be safe,
I FaceTime my grandkids, dancing and jumping, they live for now,
I feel my chest, I swallow,

From: Judi Chabola, Sixty five year old part time hairstylist, mother of two sons, grandmother to two. Moved to Fairport in November 2019, downsizing from a 20 acre farm to a condo


Happy to spend some extra time with my special little boy 🙂
Sad to be missing my 330 other children from school 😦

From: Mrs. Ruff, Media Teacher @ McKinley Elementary, Fairport Harbor, OH


As a kid 50 + years ago I discovered Dewey decimal numbers in the 100-199 range. There I found non – fiction literature that included philosophical discussion regarding life and death, including historical accounts of epidemics. Wow! I will always embrace the things revealed to me at Fairport’s wonderful public library. Yea, I was a different sort of kid when I lived in Fairport. I loved that library. Still do. Stay safe and God bless.

From: Gary, Teacher, Fairport,,,,,,,,,,, and so on.


Finding a fun webcomic from a local Cleveland librarian: Magnesium Sisters… to get through this by laughing and giggling instead of crying.

From: Librarian, Ashtabula, OH       


What I miss the most – in-person encounters at the library, at church, in the street. I hope you are all right – all of you. What I’ve learned – I really like learning and webinars are valuable tools. And just so it is on record somewhere – on this day there was snow on the ground in Fairport Harbor – honest to goodness, measurable, snowball worthy snow. Trivia: toasted Easter peeps (becausewe had no marshmallows) are really good! They get kind of crunchy on the outside and are soft and melt-y on the inside.

From: Cathy Norman, Adult Services Librarian – Fairport Harbor Public Library


The year is 2020 and everything is crazy,
People are rewarded, just for being lazy.
Stay at home and social distance is what they say,
Binge watch Netflix and read your day away.

Wash your hands and don’t touch your face,
We should’ve been doing this in the first place.
When this is over and all is said and done,
My family and I will be seeing everyone.

Going to the library, annoying librarians,
We will be acting like barbarians.
Going to our local stores and buying everything,
All the places we will go, running and ambushing.

See you later you nasty old virus,
That day will for sure be priceless.
For now we wait inside our home,
Until we are once again free to roam.

Ashley Toutant, Work From Home Mom Who Also Homeschools, Fairport Harbor, Ohio


“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” Margaret Atwood

From: Kat Chitty, Library Warrior, Fairport Harbor, OH


Kara Cervelli, Library Director, Fairport Harbor, OH                

So proud of the library staff for going above and beyond to serve our patrons!    

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