‘You Must Change Your Life’: A personal reflection on love and kindness in pandemic times

I’ve decided to share a copy of the personal essay (linked below) just published in the medical humanities journal, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, which offers a reflection of my experience during New Zealand’s first Covid lockdown in 2020. It seems particularly resonant for the current moment, particularly as we grow weary with the ongoing (en)closures and distancing. I hope it offers you some comfort, maybe some direction, or maybe just an answer to your why.

To be honest, this essay is the most personal and important (and difficult!) thing I’ve ever written but after completing it, I could no longer see the point in being an academic. It gave me a lot of perspective, that’s for sure. Thank you so much to my colleague, friend and creative inspiration Cherie Lacey for believing I had something to offer, which helped me get my story out, which helped me change my life. Cherie edited the special issue in which my article appears. She invited me to be a part on the basis of the emails I sent her over the 2020 lockdown, not realising my gift lies in letter-writing, not essay writing…but alas, here we are (nevermind the fact I wrote much of this pretending it was an email…).

The published version is unfortunately locked behind an academic library paywall (grrr), so in accordance with the journal’s copyright rules I’ve linked you to an earlier draft that has a few typos or awkward phrases absent in the final copy. Otherwise, the contents are largely the same. If you’d like to read the final version, just get in touch.

I hope you’re keeping well, safe, and full of love.

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