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An extract from the article published in European Judaism 55:2 (2022) 127.

If the origin of the word ‘patient’ was linked in Greek to the word ‘suffer-ing’, we are all patients now, regardless of whether or not we have the virus.

After the publication of my latest book in 2018, I developed writer’s block and did not intend to write again. Not until COVID descended, and I re-read Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year, which inspired me to write and publish my own journal on Kindle: In the Consulting Zoom: The Daily Journal of a Psychotherapist. Suddenly, I felt the compulsion to write was essential. Symbolically, I was writing with my lifeblood, like the pelican. The journal was a daily blend, or sometimes a curdling of my domestic, professional and ‘political’ life. Unlike Defoe who was new- born at the start of the plague and wrote retrospectively, I was compelled to write every evening after I finished my Zoom clinic.

A fugitive from COVID-19 and my peaceful consulting room in Marylebone since last March, I have been working within a home office surrounded by the chaos of a multi-generational home where Zoom cannot blank out the sounds of doorbells, dogs barking and ‘multi-media’ effects.

Wednesday 8 April 2020, Passover

It is the eve of Passover which is exactly what all the medics are doing right now in Intensive Care. Passing bodies in their care over and over again. I slept less than usual last night. Who could not after watching the untranslatable experience of attempts at life- saving procedures going on in ICU at University College Hospital? Never has the Hippocratic Oath felt so relevant.

Bodies lost in bandaged shrouds are being passed over. And over, by exhausted clinicians eight times a day, in an attempt to protect lungs from sepsis. A falling Inferno of COVID.