A 30-year-old man dreamed:
I was hanging out or planning to hang out with Gary Gulman (comedian). I was at the store looking for a Tombstone frozen pizza. I reached into the freezer and tried to find one that was cold because some of them were actually hot, like one had the cheese already melted. The pizza section of the frozen food area seemed like it had been picked over by shoppers. In another part of the dream, I’m in some game, it seemed like it may have been associated with a man who runs the comedy club. But there’s some Asian samurai-type guy in a booth, like a movie theater ticket booth. He has a long sword and he himself is very tall, like over 7 feet. We are trying to escape this theater without getting stabbed by him. I am with a woman from work and at some point we see that the samurai can slide from booth to booth and almost teleport between them. We also see that he can shoot a ball of energy at people and suck out their soul. I decide to sneak down these stairs and into the theater in hopes of finding a back way out while the samurai guy is distracted with someone or something else.
A woman in her 60’s dreamed:
I am in the backyard with my significant other and a friend when out of the corner of my eye I see a hooded man dressed in black peering around the front of the house. He sees me see him and takes off around the house to approach the backyard from the other side. I sense he intends to harm my partner and friend so I sprint to the other side of the backyard to cut him off and prevent him from harming them.
A retired military officer dreamed:
My wife is confronted by some men on the back patio. They look dangerous so I run to get my gun. I have several but I can’t find the proper ammunition for any of them. I am becoming frantic.
A woman in her 70’s dreamed:
I am making some cookies at my step-father’s house. His mother is helping me but for some reason I am trying to keep my distance from her. There is an issue about putting food in the fridge. Later I am at a hotel and seem to be attending a wedding. I go up some stairs leading to a banquet room, but as I go up an unfriendly man dressed in black is going down. Concerningly, after he passes me he turns around and starts to follow me. I feel uneasy and scared by this behavior.
A male high school student dreamed:
I am with a young girl who often serves as a protector of me in my dreams. We enter a foggy grocery store. The shelves are mostly empty. We go to the refrigerated section. There we see a man in mediaeval armor with a minotaur head and red eyes. He starts to chase us. The young girl gets caught but in so doing gives me time to get away. I break through a pair of locked glass doors using a fire extinguisher to break the glass. A strong wind greets me and destroys both the store and the minotaur. When I look back to where the store was, I see nothing but barren white soil. But ahead of me, away from where the store was, I see a field full of blue and white roses intermixed with red spider lilies.
Dreams of being pursued are not uncommon. They most often occur when the unconscious doesn’t like the path that we are pursuing or the attitude we are taking in some area of our life. It is as if the psyche sends out a hitman to halt or redirect the activity and trajectory of our errant ego.
In the case of these individuals’ dreams, such a conflict between their conscious goals or attitudes and their unfolding psychological process was not apparent. The timing of the dreams during the early stages of the coronavirus stay-at-home orders suggest that the adversaries reflected more of an outer threat rather than an inner, or intrapsychic, correction.
In other words, the dreams seem to be personifying the nature of the virus. It is being depicted as a dangerous intruder, a psychopath, a sneak and a murderer with magical powers. Indeed, the virus is a form of “serial killer.” It is cunning and deceptive for it is much harder to identify in the early stages of infection than other flus. It attacks without warning and somewhat unpredictably. Quite understandably, the dreamers feel threatened and, in some cases, unable to thwart its aggression.
An interesting aspect of the virus is that each of us can be vectors, or accomplices, of it without even knowing we are. We can be watchful of who is around us and how we interact with others. We can stay alert for the hidden, camouflaged killer, but without intending to, each of us can play a part in someone else’s death. The virus has also promoted a lot of conflict and division within society. There are those who believe in and fear its existence. There are others who see it as a hoax or a false-issue. The resulting strife, contention and anger that sometimes arises between these two groups reflect its socially psychopathic effects.