Illustration by Kursat Unsal /


I started my psychoanalytic learning and political activism in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was the spring of 1981, a time of turmoil and search for personal and collective freedom. I migrated from Brazil to the United States in 1990 with my husband, daughter, and all twenty-four volumes of the Brazilian edition of the works of Sigmund Freud.

Photo by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation | Azez, Aleppo.


Danger during the war in Aleppo was marked with sound and smoke. During the pandemic, danger is boundless. It can be everywhere and anywhere. The most fashionable and well-off person can carry the virus and pass it on to me, while on the other hand, an armed person walking next to me on the sidewalk could be harmless. The invisible danger is what makes the virus lethal. In war, if the sound is far away, then I can assume I am safe.

Photo by Matthew Roth

FIRE AND ICE IN PORTLAND by Joshua Maserow, Maryam Omidi, and Omer Leshem

Portland protesters armed with leaf blowers and cardboard signs face off with masked federal agents sporting fatigues and riot gear—guns, truncheons, and shields. Orange tear-gas clouds plume up from the tarmac as the agents grab protesters and hurl them into unmarked cars. These are images typically associated with far-off, war-torn countries ruled by authoritarian regimes—not democratic governments. But in less than six months, some of the most toxic elements of the US national psyche have risen to the surface, denuded by the global pandemic and bull-horned across the country by the divisive and belligerent rhetoric of the White House.



Last week, I dug up a box of my parents’ old letters. They were written before my parents were married, while my mom was still in Taiwan and an ocean away from my dad in the United States. A surprising number of the letters were in English; the writing is stilted, and it’s clear that English is neither of my parents’ first language, but the mundane recounting of their days felt somehow both endearing and sacred. Holding the tangible artifacts of my parents’ courtship in my hands, I imagined for the first time the twentysomethings they were when they wrote those letters.

Graphic by ADELART/

Letter from Pittsburgh by Miriam DeRiso

Yesterday, my phone rang early in the morning. The voice on the other end of the line whispered, with strain, “I’m sorry. I came home for spring break, and I won’t be returning to Pittsburgh for a while. I don’t know what we can do. Is there anything we can do?”


Letter from New York by Kate Muldowney

I thought I’d share some thoughts I wrote earlier today. By way of explanation, I started my career as a young social worker at the outset of the AIDS crisis in the United States. These weeks have so reminded me of those early days of AIDS: the fear, terror, and confusion. After working in pediatric HIV in the Bronx for eight years, I was able to travel to visit schools and orphanages in East Africa numerous times. I witnessed firsthand the destruction that HIV…

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Letter from Paris by Julia-Flore Alibert

I would like to share with you my short experience doing video sessions with children from ages four to fifteen during this troubled period. I still work in my office, which is in a part of my home, so they can see me and the office on the video. Most of the children have chosen to continue the therapy. I tell the parents to let their child stay in a quiet room alone…


Letter from Seattle by Adriana Prengler

In the Seattle suburbs (where I live), people stay at home, as in most cities in the world, except for outings for groceries, to the pharmacy, and for walks or biking on trails. My state (Washington State) has not officially declared a lockdown yet, even though there are many infected and many fatalities, especially among the elderly. As many others have described, I initially consulted with my patients about the possibility of continuing their treatment…


Letter from Jerusalem by Viviane Chetrit-Vatine

Since last Monday, I have been working by phone, going through my regular schedule. All my patients in analysis are very well and responding to this situation. My patients who were in face-to-face psychotherapy are discovering how speaking on the phone allows them freer expression. But obviously this mean of communication…