I am in a rant. I am depressed. When I say depressed I hasten to add not clinically depressed but overwhelmed, de-pressed and without there being a solution. (What is the root word of depression? c. 1400 as a term in astronomy, “angular distance of a star below the horizon,” from Old French depression (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin depressionem “to press down”).
I am ranting because it is now evident why Boris Johnson did not need to attend the COBRA meetings. He had his own inner cult COBRA. Cummings and Co. were attending the SAGE scientific meetings without appropriate credentials other than the tyranny Cummings seems to hold over Johnson’s integrity. Integrity? I always thought that both the Prof and Sir Pat looked a bit uncomfortable in front of the cameras, or shifty…
I didn’t admit to it in the Willy Wonka commentary but I am dental phobic. The reported fact that something alien landed in my mouth at the beginning of Lockdown … would otherwise have sent me into panic but panic has now become a luxury item. I did report how all the dentists are locked-down by the Government and in the case of emergency I was referred to 111. Last week someone recommended another surgery who are allowed to perform their own emergencies. I am not in pain, and not an emergency but the dentist suggested I send them a ‘snap’. Being married to a photographer it was a good snap. The dentist wrote to me that she couldn’t be certain as she was unfamiliar with my mouth, but the crown had ‘de-coroned’ surely a typo, and extraction might be the only answer. Yikes! I sent the snap to my dentist who will have full Xray records.
Yesterday there was an answer-phone message from the dentist but being in the mood I am, I am not inclined to listen to his response. The thought of a 111 dentist petrifies. In the same mood of denial, I have received a letter today, after duly quarantined, from my accountant with my tax return. I have pushed the envelope and the unlisted to phone message ‘under my bed’ for Tomorrow. If only we could push this virus into obscurity too.
I have been thinking about how privileged I used to be to leave at 8.30 AM every day for a walk in the park with Dido and on to my consulting room, with an early morning shop for dinner in-between. I abandoned supermarket shopping when my children became independent. It would be very different working from home because one had chosen to and domestic duties were not part of the contract.
a) Working from home during an International Emergency.
b) Working from home and having to take responsibility for almost all the domestic arrangements. Particularly, when it feels like John has opened a bakery and the kitchen is also ‘zooming’. I have even, at the expense of precious energy, learnt how to change a vacuum bag and filter today.
c) Working from home by Zoom rather than face to face which means that some people including myself are becoming less inhibited by the day. (A paper on the clinical aspects is incubating. ) :
‘Jane I feel you are part of my family.’ Yes, I do feel privileged to know that people can share their uncensored thoughts with me about other family members without fear of retribution or criticism. And, yes some of the women ‘of a certain age’, are sharing their beauty secrets and sending me links to all sorts of ‘concealment’ products, which inevitably show ‘Out of stock’.
While others, of all genders, might end our Zoom with ‘Love you, love you lots’. Or sometimes there is just unconcealed sadness at our parting. COVID, for the majority, consumes the otherwise inevitable sometime disappointments, anger and ambivalence with therapy. Where there is irritability or bitterness it is challenging to address in such a vexatious external context How can I not feel emotional and reciprocal? I do. Yes, Psychoanalysis/therapy is an impossible profession in which one forgets, at one’s peril, all the people I am talking to, the people I love, are also paying for my service. It hurts. It hurts. So much hurts during these golden days…