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Vol. 5 No. 1 (2022): Pandemic Politics and Phenomenology

Embracing Misfit Bodies: A Reflection on My Brother’s Dementia in the Time of COVID-19

  • Sara Cohen Shabot
February 9, 2023


2020 was a year of global crisis. During this time, I experienced crisis on a very personal level. For me this coincided with the beginning of the pandemic, when my older brother developed a kind of dementia. In this text, I briefly explore a few philosophical issues relating both to the spread of COVID-19 and to my brother’s disease. Reflecting on themes such as anxiety, uncertainty, grief, privilege, vulnerability, social distancing, and misfit bodies—mainly through critical phenomenology—I attempt to give sense to the experience of personal crisis in times of global crisis. I conclude by embracing “misfit bodies” in a sincere attempt to recognize the pervasiveness of sickness and absurdity—but also in hope for solidarity and empathy to persist.