BVI News

COMMENTARY: Coronavirus and the seven stages of grief

By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

Public reaction to the sudden and drastic change from the new coronavirus pandemic is worthy of assessment.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on public psychology in every country.

This is a reaction that is equivalent to the human response to deep loss and grief: it is critical to recognize and understand that reality.

After Hurricane Irma’s tragic and devastating trajectory through these Virgin Islands, the effects on human life and behaviour were apparent.


The most daunting observation was the deaths of elderly residents who after a life of hard work, stepped out after the hurricane, to see that their life’s work was destroyed in the few hours the hurricane pummeled the country.

That trauma broke hearts and killed many in the weeks and months after the event. The coronavirus pandemic is both different and similar. It is not a pummeling and murderous storm.

It is an invisible virus that has shut down the country, and the world. However, the effects on human behaviour are similar to Irma: loss and grief.

Loss of freedom, livelihoods

People, as the coronavirus, spread throughout the world, and at the blink of an eye, lost not simply their livelihoods; they lost their freedom of movement from lockdown and curfew. Lockdown and curfew are the best ways to manage the infection rate, short of a vaccine or cure.

Consequently, the seven stages of grief are a factor in how humans are affected by this crisis. The pandemic is impacting people of all ages physically and psychologically, albeit in differing ways.

Children are affected differently to adults, who understand how serious the pandemic is in seeking to kill and destroy. For many children, being off from school is an unexpected holiday.

Now, the shock is the first clear stage in the human response to corona. The trauma that your life will never be the same again is similar to losing a loved one, and suddenly.


It is indeed a shock. There is the denial stage: observe the stupidity of anti-lockdown protestors. These are people clearly in denial that their behaviours are a danger to themselves and others. There is the anger stage at the fact that there is a sudden loss of freedom and self- sufficiency.

That burst of temper and bout of snappiness can have its source in the sudden change the pandemic has brought on our lives. Depression: this stage is a deep sadness at the sudden loss of livelihood and the deep change from loss of freedom and movement. Guilt is a common emotion deriving from the belief that others may be suffering much more than we are. It is similar to the irrational guilt felt at the loss of a loved one.

Coping and reconstruction: after a period of time we all begin to adjust to the new reality, and adopt coping mechanisms to take us through a very difficult time.


From coping we arrive at the final stage in the process: acceptance. There is light at the end of the tunnel when we accept the tragedy in all of its dimensions and parameters.

We are able to see ahead when acceptance is adopted and moulded into our hearts and minds. After the final acceptance stage in the seven stage process, our survival in this pandemic is better guaranteed.

We believe we will not simply make it through this difficult time, but even thrive through it. The light at the end of the tunnel is truly a better day ahead: not the headlamps of an oncoming bullet train.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Wow says:

    Wow now the gas bag thinks he is a physiologist, phycologist and physician all rolled into one lump of flesh. His mental capacity to be all knowing and his need to feed his brainless followers of his gibberish is uncanny. Never have I’ve seen a sole in such need for attention as this gas bag. It’s truly sad to think how empty his life must truly be as he uses this forum to pontificate his sad views of the world. I guess it is the only way he feels better about his miserable life. On the other hand, we all know it’s Saturday as soon as we see his ugly mug pop up.

    Like 26
    Dislike 12
    • Rubber Duck says:

      Do they pay him for this mindless verbiage ?

      Like 17
      Dislike 7
      • @Rubber says:

        Maybe, maybe not but he certainly has friends in low places. It’s amazing that they publish him on a regular basis each week however they offer no one else an opportunity to share their views. Thus only one conclusion can be drawn. BVINews agrees and their views are one and the same as this joke of a human.

        Like 16
        Dislike 6
        • Quiet Rebel says:

          @@Rubber Duck, your assertion is not factual. Write a commentary and submit it for publishing, did you? If so you would not be publishing alternative facts. Facts are facts; let us not Guillanized facts, ie, facts are not facts.

          Like 10
          Dislike 8
    • Anonymous says:

      It is saturday. The septic tank is overflowing with maggots and spreading them through the keyboard right at Igwe. Wow! It’s satur-maggotday. Look out Igwe!

      Like 14
      Dislike 18
    • Gandalf says:

      You mean ‘soul’, not ‘sole’ right? 😉

    • upfulness says:

      Stop the hating people. To belittle a man for his views is not righteousness. Let us do better as people in this crisis.

  2. Such a poor analysis. says:

    None of these thing apply to any jurisdiction closed down due to covid.

    There is no grief. People lost their jobs and the only thing they are looking for is some prospects to getting the economy back up and running again.

    This Igwe guy is really living in a made up depressed world. Does he ever go out?

    If you talk to people outside they are done with the lockdown but happy to keep going.

    Igwe, some positivity please. The world needs it.

    Like 13
    Dislike 9
    • Hmmm says:

      That is the problem with the BVI, someone contribute a different perspective and they are slaughtered for their contribution.

      Even though some of the points noted in the piece aren’t relevant to the BVI, they are relevant to the world in which we live. So close off ourselves from what’s happening in the world is a dangerous position to seek. Sad indeed.

      Like 19
      Dislike 8
  3. @Hmmmm says:

    So sad that you buy into the fat mans tirade. You think he is correct because he sometimes produces full sentences. While it is ok to admire an educated Blackman, it is not ok to admire what he says because he’s able to write.

    Like 12
    Dislike 17
  4. Why Lord? says:

    There are those who are laughing, while some are thoroughly disgusted, at the responses of some people who don’t give a damn about what this gentleman is journalizing about.

    Yet most know that you know you are being given great information when “the enemy” wants to discount, refute, insult, disgrace, and shut up free speech.

    If you don’t like what’s being published, and the author of the article, find another place of news and opinions distribution that satisfy your obvious ingrained hatred and imbecilic intellectualism.

    Can’t for the will of God figure out why you’d want to waste your time insulting other folks.

    Lord, why has you brought the minds of evil to our paradise?

    Like 14
    Dislike 10
    • @Why says:

      This so called Paradise is not yours. Get it through your thick head and mini brain that you are squatters. Your land is in Africa. Not in the Western Hemisphere. Learn a little history. Also please don’t start the “look at what we built”. You built nothing and what you do have was provided by the ******.

      Like 4
      Dislike 12
      • @@Why says:

        So wrong are you, buts eems as though, and thank god it is so and not like bondage and colonial days, that only through social media they can now overtly spout their uncontrollable genetic predispositions to prejudice, hatred and racism.

        The earth is cured by such human mental maladies, sadly.

        Like 5
        Dislike 3
  5. Paula Sutton says:

    There’s an old saying that I find surprisingly helpful even in modern life. There’s nothing more a White person with a nickel hates more than a Black person with a dime.

    Essentially, White people have been so brainwashed by their global privilege that it makes them sick to be confronted with the reality that sometimes, Black folks are just doing better than they want them to.

    Like 7
    Dislike 10
    • Nonsense. says:

      When describing people as black and white by definition you are racist. And if you are racist you are wrong.

      Shut up.

      People are people.

      Like 6
      Dislike 6
  6. E.Leonard says:

    Agree with Dickson that the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a deadly, high contagious and easily transmitted virus that is galloping across and ravaging the globe, resulting in much stress and strain among the populations of hundreds of countries. Currently, there are neither no strong therapies nor treatments nor vaccine(s). Globally, approx 4,609, 337 cases confirmed and 307,496 lives snuffed out. The VI, along with rest of the CARICOM region, has not been spared or immune from the stress and strain being inflicted by the Coronavirus. Every country in region has had confirmed cases, including the VI.

    Moreover, to date, the VI through some tough painful and unpopular mitigation actions, ie, social distancing, quarantining, 24-hour curfews, lockdowns, border closures……etc has had relatively few cases and deaths, ie, 8 and 1, respectively. On the other hand though, its economy, especially the tourism sector, has been battered. The Coronavirus, coupled with the tough mitigation actions, has brought tourism, 1/2 of economic twin pillars and a major direct, indirect and induced employer, to a screeching and painful halt. Much of the approx 13,000 labour force has been hobbled.

    Pandemic roaring through the territory, residents still have to live and eat. They have to feed, clothed and housed their families, as well as meet basic transportation, communication and medical needs. The unemployment and the uncertain as to when the economy will return to the pre-Pandemic level is inflicting much stress and strain on many residents, especially those working in the tourism sector.

    Studies have indicated that persistent unemployment will result in many residents draining their savings to live, cause health and psychological problems, family violence, children neglect and divorce; increased violent and property crimes and civil unrest.

    Indeed, the Coronavirus can/will bring much grief(Disclaimer: I’m neither a trained nor certified psychologist). Nevertheless, as some experts suggest, this is only the 2nd inning of a 9 inning game. Thus, the VI cannot let its guard down and must stay vigilant. Be safe and stay safe.

    Like 17
    Dislike 3
    • RealPol says:

      @E. Leonard, the haters are doing what haters do—hate—discouragingly tapping the dislike button. They are a bunch of cowards that twist up like wet noodles with withering facts. Now, one of the haters wants to commandeer the VI as his/her own or their’s : “This so called Paradise is not yours. Get it through your thick head and mini brain that you are squatters. Your land is in Africa.“ LMAO and GTFOH! Oh snap! But we are selling it out for 30 wooden nickels.

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
    • @E. Leonard says:

      @E.Leonard, you throwing Dickson Igwe a life line and support. Yes, the Caribbean is experiencing much grief as a result of Covid-19.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
  7. Diaspora says:

    Que dia es hoy? Sabado. It is Saturday, for the racist, hateful vermin are out in public square in broad daylight spewing their hate at Igwe’s constitutional right to exercise his freedom of speech as the vermin are expressing their’s. They want the publisher to decline to publish Igwe’s commentary/opinion yet they want the publisher to publish their racist rants.

    It is either that the VI is teeming with racists, hateful vermin or it is just a handful of racists. Nonetheless, the deafening silence of the decent majority (I hope)may be endorsing and embracing the views of perhaps a minority of maggots.

    The vermin hate not only Igwe but also it seems anyone of African descent from former US President Barack Obama to any one at lowest rung of the social or economic ladder. They have the warped belief that only they have the right to reside in the VI to live and experience the quiet and enjoyment and anyone else, especially anyone of African descent, is an encroacher.

    Donning hoods, they are bravely and boldly suggesting that the VI, the West was just a temporary sojourn of Slaves and that Slaves descendants should beat foot back to Africa. Trembling in their boots, they are afraid of any person of African descent that can take a strong position on a subject and can write and speak in complete sentences.

    Moreover, sweat pouring, they have debilitating nightmares. Igwe is their worst nightmare. Decent people must speak up or be too mistakenly labeled as racists vermin. Can one seriously say that the Coronavirus is not causing the globe much GRIEF?

    Like 13
    Dislike 6
    • @Diaspora says:

      Stop using Obama as the hero of the black man. He imprisoned more blacks than any other recent president. He sent the black man into deeper poverty and less education. His only goal was to enrich himself which is the goal of any black person who rises to power. He entered the White House broke and left with $300 million. Supposed to be from her book sales but no one can find anyone who read the book. Hmmmm. History will show he was the worst US President EVER, and also the most criminal. If this is what you look up to then your future is bleak.

      Like 3
      Dislike 12
      • @@Diaspora says:

        @@Diaspora, look like you attended and graduated from Rudy Guillani School of Non-Facts. You know where it is portrayed that facts are not facts. You say former US President Hussein Obama is the worst US President ever. Well, you want to take a peek at these names Warren Harding, Ulysses Grant, Franklyn Pierce, James Buchanan, Zachary Taylor, Richard Nixon to name a few. Incidentally, there are 45 US Presidents and Barack ranks somewhere depending on the poll between 8 and 15.

        Like 10
        Dislike 2
      • @@Diaspora says:

        @@Diaspora, in addition to Rudy Guillani School of Facts are not Facts or Kellyanne Conway School of Alternative Facts, you also graduated from Donald Trump University, a fake institution that folded years ago in disgrace. You also graduated from the Don University of Lies (over 15,000 and counting). It takes microsecond to tell unpack your lies without any facts. True Trumpian.

        1. Obama worst president ever: all you have to do is look at the historical rankings and you will see that he ranks in the top 25%. There are not many certainties in life but one certainty is that he will forever rank higher than your hero the Don.

        2. Broke at commencement of presidency: estimated network at commencement $1.5M. Estimated network at end $40M. From books, royalties, speaking engagements, investments, Netflix project, presidential retirement salary……etc, current projected network is south of $270M. Have former White presidents used the status of being former president to boost earnings, ie, Bill Clinton…..etc? Yes. So why can’t he?

        3. Michelle Obama book Becoming was a NY Times bestseller. And you can checkout the Netflix project.

        Pick the term you want to embrace for yourself : racist, maggot, vermin, or hypocrite (too nice a term). These are the less offensive. Avoid the nightmares about persons of African descent positive contributions (see if you can get thru day without benefit of a Black contribution) to the world despite major hurdles, it is not good for your health and personal well-being. Perhaps, when the border opens, you can a catch fly back to your Flat or to Hicksville and enjoy the nice cold environment.

  8. If says:

    this so called paradise is not ours, call us squatters all you want, try removing us from it and see how successfull you are. @why.

    Two hundred year old squatters have rights to ownership to, in case you are lacking knowlege and a human soul.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  9. @ haters says:

    Are people not free to express their viewpoints without being attacked? I do think it’s full time the editor stop publishing some of these nasty comments. U may not agree with what the man is saying but u don’t have to get personal.
    I don’t always agree with what he writes but this is what democracy is all about- the freedom to express yourself in a respectable and responsible way.
    There is too much hate for each other. How is it helping us?

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
  10. Gwen says:

    Do not discredit the man’s intelligence because you are not on his intellectual level.
    According to Kubler Ross one goes through seven emotional stages of grief.
    Shock or disbelief (this cant be happening to me)
    Denial( they must have made a mistake)
    Bargaining(Lord, if you give me one more chance I will change my life)
    Guilt( I must have done something wrong, its my fault why it happened)
    Anger(God, my did you allow this to happen to me?)
    Depression-(I’ll probably die and never get better)
    Acceptance- ( Maybe this is for the best, God has a better plan for me)
    As humans any time we go through trauma in our lives we all go through a process of grief.
    Depending on the situation of the trauma some people never experience these stages if is Instant. Some tragedies are impending others are Instant(no time for preparation)
    If the Pandemic has not affected you in one way or another you should be grateful to your higher power. I have held the hands of dying when no family could visit them. I have counseled the families when mere words could not suffice.
    Life is short. Let’s celebrate our differences instead of criticizing what we DO NOT understand.

Leave a Comment