The Unkempt Lockdown Beard

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The Unkempt Lockdown Beard

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Over the past year, I found myself for the first time extremely isolated from most of the outside world. As opposed to my entire life previously, where I was always around other people and tried to make my appearance presentable, I no longer had to worry about what I looked like. As a result, I stopped shaving and let my beard grow for weeks and months on end. I will never forget the strange feelings associated with the different stages of my beard. Running my fingers across my face and feeling the sharp pricks from the stubble of a short beard, or the fuzzy and puffy feelings from touching my medium-sized beard, or straitening out the matted hair of my longish beard. As I had never tried to grow a beard before, these feelings were new to me and something I will not forget. The picture I uploaded was shortly after I had shaved my cheeks and left the rest of the hair on my face and neck, which felt stubbly and sharp on the sides but more silky and smooth in other areas. This is something I would have never done if I had to be around people. The isolation I experienced during the lockdown allowed me to grow this strange beard and experience the feelings that came with it. This is representative of the experiences of so many people who all of a sudden found themselves in a new situation of solitude as a result of the Covid lockdowns. For once in a lifetime, your appearance didn't have an effect on your professional life and you could just let things like beard growth go completely uncared for. As I will probably never experience this kind of isolation again, I will probably never experience the feelings of running my fingers across and through an unkempt beard as I did during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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This item was submitted on July 2, 2021 by Justin Osborn using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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