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McGleughlin, J. (2020). April in Corona. Psychoanal. Dial., 30(5):639-641.

(2020). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 30(5):639-641

April in Corona

Jade McGleughlin, LICSW


After 9/11, I noticed patients were confessing lies they had never revealed, years into treatment. Affairs they had had, lurking ghosts dressed in red, dancing.

One woman said she made a boy she babysat pull down his pants. She stared at his eager face till he peed in shame.

Another man took small items each time he left his mother’s. He showed me his Dixie cup collection from my water cooler—fifteen years’ worth.

Others told of small acts of plagiarisms, war crimes.

People wanted to reveal their humanity, to be whole again.

There are no confessions this time. Instead, masks. The stark light of April 2020 doubles the sharp break of that September 2011 sky.


In the Zoom box, my face and my patient’s, side by side, look alike. White, middle-aged. Her skin is better. I never noticed how high her forehead, how pointy her chin, weirdly twinning mine.

My next patient is young and brown. Our eyes are similar, slightly small but round in the center. And her cheek bones are placed just like mine. I spot resemblances with Jesse, too. And Jim, and the Kimberlie’s on my screen.

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