In this talk Prof Michael Cholbi explores the medical and emotional understanding of grief in times of global pandemic.

Many experts have started to refer to the onslaught of grief unleashed in the pandemic in medical or epidemiological terms: as a “grief pandemic.” This way of characterizing the large scale grief wrought by the pandemic is troubling, villainising grief as an unhealthy or pathological reaction rather than a healthy response to an unhealthy world suddenly suffused with moral injury. Reframing such grief in epidemiological terms also tempts us to recast the pandemic as a clinical problem rather than a public health failure. A more prudent stance instead views grief as our best tool for dealing with loss.