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19 COVID Thoughts #15

Things are starting to open up again properly. Trying to move back to what they were before. I'm taking trips into town for meetings. Some people get close and then remember. I do this too. Queues outside shops are common. Hand sanitisers are everywhere. The number of cases are starting to rise again and I’ve heard people talking about asymptomatic carriers a lot more.


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Mum told me the sales of lipstick have plummeted but that nail varnish and fake eyelashes have risen dramatically.

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The upswing of COVID has been the increase of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in cities around the world. Roads seem less aggressive but there seems to be more cars. Policymakers are trying to undo a century of spatial planning that prioritised cars over pedestrians and cyclists. Lockdowns around the Europe led to a dramatic drop in air pollution levels cities. We have seen what it’s like to live in a city with clean air. I will miss hearing the birdsong that has been drowned out by the cars.


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I went into a shop to buy ear plugs. I had sunglasses on, earphones in and a mask covering my face. The feeling of claustrophobia was new.


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While out with Freddy, I noticed a change in his walking. Across the road he had spotted an woman out walking. She was older, hunched over and in her gloved hands was awkwardly carrying two walk sticks —the kind used by hikers traversing difficult terrain. She wore a knee length cream puffer jacket, had her hood up and covering her face was a full face shield.

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In 2013, there was a paper in Nature outlining how a group of scientist had examined the inheritance of parental traumatic exposure. Generational trauma is something that has been observed in various places: the effects of the Holocaust on its survivors and their children; the effects of the Famine on those who left and stayed. Their findings “provided a framework for addressing how environmental information may be inherited trans-generationally at behavioural, neuroanatomical and epigenetic levels.” In essence, environmental factors can influence biology through epigenetic modifications. Trauma lives in the blood.

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© Eoghan Carrick | Dublin, Ireland | eoghan.carrick@gmail.com