Our Identities Are Fragmented Because Of The Pandemic

Claire Stapley
4 min readFeb 9, 2021

They will come back, one day

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

I’ve been mulling over 2020 in my head for a few weeks now, especially as we are in our third national lockdown here in the UK. This lockdown, however, feels different. We are all incredibly tired, our metaphorical shoes scuffed from dragging our feet in despair.

Mentally, it’s been taxing. Some days filled with laughter and jam-packed with voice notes over WhatsApp. Other days it’s anger and resentment, waking up with a sore jaw from clenching with anxiety all night. But, most days, it’s glossy-eyed, glazed over and bored.

This led me to question why so many of us have this shared feeling — even those who are out of lockdown and adjusting to “real life”. It’s a new kind of emptiness. Some conversation feels jarring, forced. Often, we have very little to say.

The best way I could describe it is feeling fragmented, or shattered — like when you drop a china plate on the floor and all the pieces separate a few centimetres, yet you could glue it back together with ease. The plate would still serve its purpose, but it would look and feel broken.

I feel, as do many others, as fragmented as a china plate. My identity as I once knew it is now scattered away in so many places and hidden within so many people that I worry my sense of self may never come back again.

I know many others feel like this, especially young people. The vibrancy we once had for life has somewhat faded, and instead is replaced by doomscrolling, avoiding conversation and simply going into survival mode.

Governments have failed us

Unless you’ve got Jacinda Arden, your government has most probably failed you. The UK government at this point is a walking meme, and by meme, I mean the ones that make you wince on Twitter, rather than laugh in agreement.

The lack of leadership, the lack of boundaries, and the abuse of trust have left many of us fragmented. Those who voted our current government in I imagine are facing inner conflict, and those who didn’t feel wounded and disappointed. I sit in the latter and feel embarrassed at times to be English.

Claire Stapley

Freelance copywriter. Passionate about mental health, travel, films and people.