1st Edition

Surviving Lockdown Human Nature in Social Isolation

By David Cohen Copyright 2021

    2020 has been the year of the virus, and it will not be a mere footnote in history. This book reflects on the unprecedented changes to our lives and the impact on our behaviour as we lived through social isolation during the global COVID-19 pandemic. From sociable creatures of habit, we were forced into a period of uncertainty, restriction and risk, physically separated from families and friends.

    Packed with guidance and coping strategies for lockdown, this book, authored by top psychologist David Cohen, explores the impact of this widespread quarantine on our relationships, our children, our mental health and our daily lives. Benedictine monks, hermit popes, Dorothy Sayers, Daniel Defoe (who made the isolated Robinson Crusoe a hero), Sigmund Freud and a rabbi’s angry dog are all among the cast of characters as we are taken on a whistle-stop tour through plagues in history and brain science, to the importance of introspection and how to make meaning from lockdown. In his trademark entertaining style, Cohen examines the psychology behind our behaviour during this unusual time to discover what we can learn about human nature, what lessons we can learn for the future – and whether we will apply them.

    Acknowledgements Preface Introduction 1: Anxiety and The Brain: Taking control of your fears 2: The Effects of Solitude: Case Studies in Isolation 3: Plagues Through History: The past and its lessons for us 4: Variations in the National Response to Pandemics: Paths to success or failure 5: Love in the time of Plague: How social isolation can impact on our relationships and sex life 6: Tensions During Lockdown: Anger, Irritation and Emotional Intelligence 7: The Impact of Pandemics on Children: Attachment, Mental Health and Resilience 8: Introspection is Inevitable: Mood regulation, Dreams and Personal Responses 9: Money fears and how to cope with them: Connecting financial security and mental health 10: My Home is my Office: Working from home as the new normal 11: Exercise your Endorphins: how physical activity can affect mood 12: Physical Exercise: Ideas for indoor activity 13: Making the most of lockdown: Study Something New 14: The Experiment: What the pandemic has taught us so far about human nature Select Bibliography


    David Cohen is a prolific writer, filmmaker and psychologist.

    "We can live vicariously through science fiction and reality TV, but who’d have thought we’d be living it? And with no blueprint, how do we make sense of life in a pandemic? That’s where ‘Surviving Lockdown: Human Nature in Social Isolation’ by David Cohen comes in. It’s a veritable tour de force packed with psychological insights, personal anecdotes, references from popular culture, and coping strategies. Written in an engaging style, it offers a much needed to guide to making sense of life in lockdown. It’s a book to help us to reflect on our behaviour and mental states in extraordinary times, to extract life lessons and to inspire us to tell stories of survival and growth of our own."

    - Dr Gary Wood, social psychologist, wellbeing coach and author of The Psychology of Wellbeing