Oh, So Coronavirus Can Make You Delusional?

A quick lesson from Patricia Lockwood for Donald Trump

On Monday morning, October 5, less than one month before the election, Donald Trump, who was diagnosed with Covid almost a week ago, started tweeting at three-minute intervals. It didn’t stop.

During her bout of Covid in March, author Patricia Lockwood described her state of mind in the London Review of Books.

The first wave subsided, and I thought I’d escaped, but the second hit with redoubled intensity a week later. My delusions became even more bizarre. I came to believe that someone ‘had put a Godzilla statue outside my window on purpose to freak me out’ — this, it transpired, was the silhouette of two black streetlights, one superimposed on the other. I spent two weeks adding 143 words to my novel, about peeing next to Rob Roy’s grave, feeling further from coherence with every draft. Local news graphics of the virion floated through the air, along with glimpses of originating animals: overlapping scales and flickering tongues, wings like black maple leaves. All this happened, it should be said, with a fever that never went higher than 100°F. The persistent feeling was that I would die in the night. I woke fighting to breathe, with the sense of a red tide moving slowly up my chest towards my neck. And all the while strange music marched.

Written by

Deputy Editor, GEN. Previously an editor for Topic, Longreads, The New Republic, and Lapham’s Quarterly. gen.medium.com

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