9/11 Pandemic Insight

This tee shirt I bought at a street fair in the West Village 12 years ago.

It was my chosen outfit with black jeans to wear to the dentist on 9/11. Using clothing to protest or make a statement is my preferred way of getting a message across.

Though I was afraid to have a cavity or need a terrible scraping of my teeth I was in luck. The cleaning was quicker than usual.

Before opening my mouth wide I told the dentist that I have no energy at all. That in the evening I haven’t been brushing my teeth.

“Everyone has no energy. They’re under stress. The coronavirus is no joke. Some people have it together. Others lost it altogether,” he cut to the chase.

The pandemic has been a game changer in this regard. My dentist was right about everyone being stressed out.

There should be more openness and willingness to talk about mental health issues. No one’s immune from cracks and fissures in the mind these days.

If human beings cannot be honest with each other then we’re living a lie. Game over.

We cannot go back to the way things were before.

It was hard for a lot of us to not resort to snacking on potato chips and pretzels or drinking vodka and gin while holed up in our living rooms.

None of us should feel guilty and ashamed.

Not about our bodies our health our sexuality. Nothing.

Everyone’s doing the best we can with what we were given.

To coexist. That is the only way to live.

To have compassion for each other. Even better.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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