Premature Resolution of the Mourning Process: Corona and Culture

The corona virus has changed life and the changes have been painful.

Even with some of the easing of restrictions, the emerging reality is dismal: the loss of civil liberty, the face masks, ruined economies, financial stress, inability to distinguish between real and fake, no face to face time with old cronies, no swimming, no beach and lots of new technology to learn to get things done.

I have a wide set of friends and acquaintances all over the globe, thanks to my many years working globally, and I have had lots of conversations about what’s going on.

For my Israeli friends, this is just another hardship, like being bombed from Gaza, paying lots of tax and getting fucked by the government, sitting for hours in horrendous traffic jams or the stress of constant political conflict. Just another bundle on our back.

My Asian friends have a stoic resilience, which accepts albeit with resignation, that it is what it is.

The American response seems to feign positivism or even at times reek of positivism. What can we “learn from this”. “Let’s make lemons from lemonade”. Or “at least we are all in this together, forging a sense of community”. I have even heard that this is a “great window of opportunity to change our lives”.

I try not to be judgmental, although ultimately I fail. Like all Israelis, I accept the present limitations as just another hardship, but a tough one. I am 70 years old, fit, and want to enjoy the rest of my life. With the present limitations, the outlook for that is not brilliant.

I am not a stoic. I wish I were. But I am not. When stoicism was handed out, I was the last in line.

Most certainly, I do not share the worldview of my American friends and colleagues. I cannot fight against  mourning for what and whom I miss. Premature reconciliation with the loss will only serve to bite me in the bum later on. I don’t want to think about the lemonade now. I want to feel the loss. Otherwise, I will build stairs of sand and pretend to “have a nice day”.

Mourning is a basic right no one will take from me.

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7 thoughts on “Premature Resolution of the Mourning Process: Corona and Culture

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Allon. I agree, there have been so many losses already, and more of them will come. Although I miss many things that Covid19 has taken away us from, I tend to focus at what I still have and can enjoy.

    • Yes.
      Like my daily walk of 10 km.
      Audible books.
      Talking with friends.
      Soon perhaps beach will open.
      I don’t like working from home at all. But no choice really.

  2. Your point is well taken Allon. It is so hard to say everything at the same time. There has been criticism within the US about the attitudes you mention.

    I was thinking about Naomi Klein’s book crisis as an opportunity to change the system. I was quickly reminded that the system rebounds to what it was eventually as has been proven in the US. We’ve lost all the advances we made after the 1930 depression. Worker’s rights, banking regulations, now they want to take away social security, and not provide healthcare for all. We have 16% unemployment and no tax money to reopen our schools safely.

    Nevertheless, I have seen neighbors jumping in to help the elderly. Previously ignored workers are seen as “essential.” This has sparked some activism on their behalf. I could go on forever but in my own little circle I haven’t lost anyone and I count my blessings.

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