The Psychology of Covid Reactions?

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I continue to struggle to understand the extent and the polarisation of the global (in the “privileged” world) reactions and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. But in re-reading a 2002 book about romantic relationships (Can Love Last?) this morning I came across this insightful passage which, to me, appears psychologically relevant:

“It is very difficult … for us to come to terms with the stark limitations on the kinds of control it is possible to maintain over our lives and ourselves. Yet we continue to insist, both consciously and unconsciously, that we have more control than we do over our feelings, our relationships, our fates …
A conviction of being in control is central to our sense of safety … the more endangered we feel, the more control we seek …
Freud’s phrase for such fantasies … was ‘onmipotence of thought’, and we are just as committed to omnipotence today as were Freud’s contemporaries.”

Stephen A. Mitchell

Partner Choice

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“If you look at the person someone has chosen to be with, you will see what they think of themself.”

– George Lucas (quoted by Carrie Fisher in her autobiography, The Princess Diarist.)

This blew me away this morning – amazing and profound insight! And how cool to have a highly relevant quote re relationships up here by the writer and creator of Star Wars!

Men vs. women (Forgetting vs. forgiving)

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“Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget.”

– Robert Jordan: The Dragon Reborn.

T.H.I.N.K. before you speak.

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This simple little sign was pinned to the corkboard in my local Community Hall:

“THINK before you speak [re a potentially conflictual or provocative situation].
ie. Is what you are about to say:







Wow, so simple, but so profound.
And practical too.


Sunshine or Rain?

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We only ask for sunshine,
We did not want the rain;
But see the flowers that spring from showers
All up and down the plain.

We beg the gods for laughter
We shrink, we dread the tears,
But grief’s redress is happiness
Alternate through the years.

Helen Hay Whitney.

Making the “Correct” Decision

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We need to accept the fact that there may often be no ideal decision.
What matters most is not the choice itself but the reason behind the choice.
If we choose something out of fear, the result of our action may be unsatisfactory and unstable; if we choose in faith, the outcome of our action will probably take us in the direction we need to go, however haltingly.”

– Caroline Myss.


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“Then the diagnostic team come in an’ diagnozzles the whole shebang!
‘Diagnostic’? Lessee – agnostic means, ‘one what don’t know’ an’ di is a Greek prefix denotin’ twofold – so the ‘di-agnostic team’ don’t know twice as much as an ordinary agnostic … right?”

Pogo (1966).

The Blessing of Tears

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“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears for they are the rain upon the blinding dust of earth overlying our hard hearts.”

Charles Dickens (in Great Expectations).


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“We give thanks for our friends.
Our dear friends.
We anger each other.
We share this sad earth, this tender life, this precious time.
Such richness. Such wildness.
Together we are blown about.
Together we are dragged along.
All this delight.
All this suffering.
All this forgiving life.
We hold it together.

Amen. ”

–  Michael Leunig. 


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“Once we accept that we are going to lose something, something new comes along. That is the way bereavement works. This is reality, not consolation; but we forget that.”

– Marie de Hennezel, in her book, “The warmth of the heart prevents your body from rusting”. 

Gratitude & Resilience

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“There are two things you need in order to live and cope well in spite of all of Life’s adversities: gratitude and resilience.”

– Glenda’s Dictum.

Concentration/ Focus

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“There is nothing that concentrates the mind like the prospect of death”.

– Samuel Johnson.

Cherishing our Memories

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“Our memories make us who we are…

Choose one moment in every day that is worth cherishing, welcome that moment into your Memory Palace, nurture it always, and it will never leave you”.

– said by the character “Grandpa Byron” in Ross Welford’s Time Travelling with a Hamster.

Help us.

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“God help us to change. To change ourselves and to change our world. To know the need for it. To deal with the pain of it. To feel the joy of it. To undertake the journey without understanding the destination. The art of gentle revolution.”

– Michael Leunig.