Gwinnett County couple writes book about quarantining amid COVID-19

A Gwinnett County couple has written a book, a relatable look at life for a family during this pandemic.

The Shepherd Family began chronicling their experiences in March and have now  published "40 Days, 40 Nights: Daily Tales (and Lessons) from a Suburban Home During the Coronavirus Quarantine."

Ayana and Marshall Shepherd began chronicling the changing times for their family of four with what started as just a social media diary.

"When you look back on your Facebook feed or look through life in the early part of 2020, I don’t think that you’re ever going to see a period of time that looks like this," Marshall says.

"It gave you an opportunity just to see how we progressed as a family unit during these uncertain times," adds Ayana. 

Marshall is a professor and research meteorologist at The University of Georgia. Ayana is a stay at home mom. They say like any family adjusting to change right now, there’s been some ups and downs.

"It’s been good and we’ve been able to go and do our daily walks but there’s been turmoil too because she’s used to her space and I’m used to going off to UGA and other places. The kids are here, doing their work so there were some adjustments and we talk about that and what we learned from that and what others might learn from that as well," Marshall says.

When they started out, they didn’t plan to turn their observations into a book.

"You can see throughout the book, certain pauses like 'Day 11…Oh, I’m out of stuff to talk about. I didn’t know it was going to be 11 days, and then Day 20… Oh I didn’t know was going to be writing for 20 days,'" Ayana exclaims.

"We’re a typical suburban family…our experience is many people’s experience so there are life lessons about our kids, about our marriage…about what you’re cooking," Marshall adds. "I even have my boiled peanut recipe in there." 

Then The Shepherds decided to self publish “40 Days, 40 Nights: Daily Tales (and Lessons) from a Suburban Home During the Coronavirus Quarantine.”

"We felt helpless, as everyone did just sitting here day after day so what can we do what can we contribute to our community, and so we captured a record of it that our kids’ kids might be able to share," Marshall says.

The Shepherds are donating all proceeds, beyond the printing costs, to local organizations that are helping families and students during this tough time. 

The book is for sale on Amazon for $14.99 or can be purchased as an e-book for $7.99.