Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Christopher Jackson
Features Writer
11:11 AM 7th June 2020

Covid 19 Moods

I love words, much more, I love the etymology of words. I especially enjoy discovering new ones: this happened the other day when someone said a politician was otiose. A quick scramble on line and voila - the guy in question was considered idle, even useless.

It got me thinking about life under Covid 19 and how to describe the phases. I say phases, because like the grief curve, or the classic stages of inebriation, one can identify clear emotional stages over the last ten weeks.

Verbose - initially I went through a talkative stage, animated about what might happen, how it might affect me, predicting the likely scenarios ahead. It wasn’t exciting, but it was unique and undoubtedly stimulating: definitely one for the chattering.

Jocose - then the mood switched remarkably. The simple daily things that made you laugh: the surreal queueing at the supermarket; the people walking around like there’d been a nuclear event, masked up and veering away as you approached. Maybe it was nervous laughter, I’m not sure, but it sure seemed bizarre. The whole thing seemed nuts.

Otiose - I then slipped into a trough of despond when it became clear this wasn’t a short term issue, and traipsed around feeling idle and indeed indolent. Just couldn’t be arsed.

Bellicose - knowing my persona it was inevitable that I’d become bloody minded and aggressive about it all. But not with Covid 19, it was a reaction to the never ending media merry go round. Tautology? Oh yes! - the disease and it’s impact was dissected and evaluated in every possible way. From the minute you awoke to the very second you fell asleep, the subject was just there. It drove me nuts. And I think the wall to wall coverage becomes counterproductive and people like me begin to listen less and take issue more. Right or wrong it’s a natural reaction. You get inured to it. It’s a difficult call for the government - they can’t cease talking about it, nor should they - but the media inevitably ensure the maximum horror is extracted from it. I just felt hostile for a long time.

Lachrymose - sorry but here the model fails. I should be reduced occasionally to tears with the endless grief and death reported daily, but sadly the events have been a reminder that I’m quite a cold fish. As an Atheist I have always taken a pragmatic view of death so I remain relatively unmoved. But I am nonetheless disturbed by my lack of empathy, and being surrounded by others who are appropriately moved, it makes me wonder if I’m somehow less than normal.

Comatose - well as the weeks drift into months I do feel a sense of sensory withdrawal. I’m sleeping more, even though I’m doing very little, and the days now merge in a torpid haze.

It’s been quite a journey and it’s not over yet.