The Pandemic Experience


The Pandemic Experience


Stephen P., of Libbytown, Portland, Maine




What the pandemic experience has been teaching me.
This essay is more of an observation and less of a complaint about the human condition and how fragile and interdependent we humans ultimately are.


Isolation (Philosophy)
COVID-19 (Disease) -- Psychological aspects


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I am amazed at how much I took for granted pre-pandemic; occasionally going out to restaurants, cafes, museums, libraries and other socializing events and places. I now realize I was treating these special occasions with a blasé attitude, never realizing their value in keeping me on an even psychological keel. While I have always understood how fragile my psyche can be, this semi-isolation that most of us have been enduring for the better part of a year has really taken its toll and I’m better off than most. I’m able to go to work each day thereby supplying me human interaction with someone other than my spouse who spends most of her days at home. I accept that my pandemic existence is better than many of my fellow human beings which only makes me wonder how people who are really struggling financially as well as socially are able to cope.

I hope this pandemic finally puts to rest the hoary cliché and misguided notion that has infected the American psyche since before the American Revolution; that we are a nation of “rugged individuals”. Americans desperately cling to this notion that we can “pull ourselves up by our boot-straps” without help from others. This pandemic has demonstrated the utter falsity of that notion. Whether or not we want to believe it we are all interdependent. There has been no greater illustrator of that than the pandemic.

Original Format

Personal narratives



Stephen P., of Libbytown, Portland, Maine, “The Pandemic Experience,” Isolating Together : Portland Public Library, accessed August 12, 2022,