I've been lucky that I have lost no one in my immediate family. But friends, good friends, close friends, have succumbed.
It's not only death. The loss of other things. Many of us identify with our work, and I have seen several friends lose their jobs. Part of their paycheck, because of pay cuts. Their time, because of the blurring of work and leisure hours. There is what I would call "lateral grief", when I see my friends struggling and trying to keep the smile on their faces, pasted on, covering the sadness.
Children are, I think, among the most affected, because of not being able to be with others of their age, without adult supervision. My grandchildren seem to have coped. But the effects on this isolation may not be known for a long time.
I have coped by trying to turn loneliness to solitude. To switch from the external locus of control, to the inner side. My nature walks have truly been a lifesaver for me. They allow me to both be with other people, and be contented in myself. The lockdowns have been far easier for me, and I am very grateful for that. I am grateful for the internet, and to electricity, which has kept us going. My family was not here through the present lockdown, but the fact that they were in a relatively safer place was a comfort.
Is being "comfortably numb" the way to deal with this? I don't know. I am a gregarious person, but have become more of a solitary one. Is it me, the ageing process, or the pandemic? I don't know. I was someone who would rush to hug a friend. Now I have controlled that impulse.
We all need the human touch, both figurative and physically. The lack of Vitamin T is a serious lack.
Covid has affected us on more levels than are immediately apparent.