As the reality of an indefinite psychological marathon descends, many magazine writers began to count their blessings, tinted in entries with gratitude and fear.
‘In recent months there have been many losses, including transport by public buses, cycling, as the cycle route has been washed out and the library closed. … When I hear that it could take another year, I feel despair. But I take it one for one day and I am thankful that I can pay my bills, have a roof over my head and so far determined how I can get food. ”- Retired woman in her 70s, from Michigan.
In their preliminary analysis, dr. Mason and dr. Willen determined that expressions of guilt, privilege, and gratitude emerge early in the epidemic, and that they occur in about one-third of the 530 English-speaking contributors in general. Ten of these diaries devoted most of their entries to saying thank you – for what they have and for seeing what they took for granted.
“Some of this is white liberal guilt, and feels bad to do OK when so many are not,” said Dr. Mason said. ‘But we have a lot of coloreds who are not privileged, and they feel guilty for a slightly different reason. They see family members die, lose jobs and can not pay rent. ”
A summer of protest, fires and existing fear
‘The world feels like it’s imploding again with the killing of black and colored people by the police, children killing innocent protesters, teachers afraid to go to schools, and the economy continues to collapse, a hurricane. It’s overwhelming … we’re all sick of this. ”- Nonprofit worker and mother in her 40s from New Jersey
Over the summer, Covid-19 outbreaks swept across much of the country, even as Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets in more than 400 cities and towns. By August, California was on fire, plagued by one of the worst wildfires ever recorded. And all this still seems to be fuel for an increasingly nasty, deeply polarized presidential campaign that shot up in September and October.
Many people, especially younger diaries, were ready to scream. “At this point, selfish or whatever it may sound like, I’d rather be homeless than spend another day in this house,” said a young woman, a student in her late teens, from New York. writing. “It may sound dramatic and I’m angry, but I’m done with this.”
The magazines swell up and fall back like a living organism, giving rise to a growing sense that the world is coming from its moorings. “The record temperature recorded in the Death Valley reminds me not to forget about despair over the climate crisis,” wrote another woman, a software engineer in her 50s from California. “The pandemic made everything feel like it was falling apart.”