Recently, during Victoria’s spirit-wearying sixth lockdown, I experienced resentment. As occurs when undergoing an emotional sensation, I was not immediately conscious of what I was feeling. I was aware first of the physical manifestations: a shortness of breath, an almost demonic rush of agitation, an acrid bile in my throat and on my tongue. I was reacting to an article in the newspaper, which I had read when I first logged on to the computer that morning, perusing the headlines on the web copy of the Age. Health professionals were explaining that they were sitting on stockpiles of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Those stocks were in danger of becoming out of date and useless because people were demanding the Pfizer vaccine.
I wrenched myself from my seat, went into the kitchen, and put on a coffee to brew. I could hear mumbling from behind the closed door of the study. My partner was on a Zoom meeting for work. I paced the kitchen; my head was churning with what seemed a thousand unnerving thoughts. Yet when I think back to that moment, I am convinced that not one of those feelings was fully articulated, that none made coherent sense. I was in a rancorous and ugly mood. It was at that moment a friend rang me. She was in country New South Wales, had retreated there with her girlfriend once it was clear that we were to enter the next lockdown. My friend is a doctor, and she was ringing to catch up with the news about my mother’s health. She heard something in my voice. The tension, the vehement fury.
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