Out of touch, out of tune: the social-political construction of atmospheric walls during the COVID-19 pandemic first wave

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Kandida PurnellRichmond, The American International University in London, UK

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This article contributes to knowledge on the co-constitutive relation between emotions and bodies by describing the mechanisms enabling the social-political construction of ‘atmospheric walls’ () during the COVID-19 pandemic first wave of spring-summer 2020. Using auto- and digital ethnographies this article underlines gendered, raced and classed angles of arrival into the spring-summer ‘first wave’ and describes the social-political implications of individual bodies and parts of the body politic losing touch through the pandemic. In particular, this article highlights three mechanisms – angles of arrival, discord and losing touch – leading to the containment of grief within parts of the UK body politic, which, through the COVID-19 pandemic first wave worked to build up atmospheric walls segregating parts of the body politic and allow the continued circulation of some bodies while facilitating the continued circulation, use and using up of others.

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Kandida PurnellRichmond, The American International University in London, UK

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