My 2020 Covid-19 Time Capsule

Most of us are snapping pictures and recording short video clips to capture how we spent our days during the COVID-19 mandated shelter-in-place order. And while you may occasionally flick through your camera roll to remember these times, a family time capsule helps capture exactly how life was in the spring of 2020. 

Here’s a helpful list to get started, but feel free to add whatever relics defined this time for you:


A receipt for gasoline When the year started, gas was almost $3.00 per gallon, but now the average price is around $1.39 per gallon. Some spots throughout the state even have gas priced as low as $0.99! (Now’s the time to take a road trip; try one of the routes we’ve outlined on page 12 and 13.)

Artwork made by the kiddos and photos of your family There’s no shortage of creative ideas for children to try while at home, from binoculars constructed from empty toilet paper rolls to self-portraits made with acrylic paint and construction paper. Be sure to print a dozen photos, too, of the things you and your family did, like playing board games or going on hikes.

A current article from the daily newspaper Cut out a specific article or stuff the entire front page in. Seeing the headlines may help you recall specific memories or help explain the severity of the pandemic to your children who were too young at the time to understand.

A recipe card for one or two special meals There’s a reason flour was one of the first items to sell out in stores: baking treats is comforting. Pen a couple of the recipes you frequently made, and perhaps include a note about which grocery items you were often unable to find in stores.

The take-out menu from your favorite restaurant …And while it’s been fun to experiment in the kitchen, it’s nice to take a night off and grab dinner to-go from your favorite local spot. Save the menu and make a note indicating what everyone in your family liked to order.

Commonly-used items like face masks and gloves Some wore an N95 mask and latex gloves while others wore bandanas and gardening gloves. Tuck these items into the capsule when you’re done using them ???? though you’ll probably never forget wearing this protective gear on your errands!

Whether you open your time capsule a year from now or at the start of the next decade, having these bits and pieces tucked away in a small box will bring a mix of relief and reflection.