I’ve been asked by my alumni magazine to reflect on the impact of covid. Here’s my response.


Covid has been a time of languishing — not as bad as either depression or anxiety. Something a bit different. A sense of time in slow motion.

I’m 80 and a retired philosophy professor who’s had an active musical and social life interrupted — stalled, put on hold.

For years, my life has been paced by evening gatherings — chorus, choir, dinner dates, orchestra. When that suddenly disappeared, I fumbled for a sense of pace and passing time.

There have been partial ameliorations: zooms for poetry discussions and music sharing. But music doesn’t really work over zoom. A live audience makes all the difference. It’s like singing in the shower.

Philosophy taught me to mull over questions, to contemplate, and to write — that’s continued. I have a blog, Mists on the Rivers, where I reflect on all sorts of things.

I don’t have any plans for the future other than staying healthy and, as covid retreats, becoming socially and musically engaged again.

I look back with pride on publishing a dozen books — many on Kierkegaard, one on Thoreau, and one (prize-winning) of poetic-autobiographical reflections. I look forward as covid recedes, to a resurgence of energy for personal reflection. I suspect it may coalesce in another book, most likely a memoir.

I anticipate a burst of energy — energy that’s been forced into hiding over the past months.

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