In this study, we conduct a detailed analysis of qualitative survey data focusing on adult populations in the UK, Japan and Mexico to address the following question: How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed people’s lived experience of their bodies, other people’s bodies and the world? We identify five themes: (i) fear and danger, (ii) bodily doubt and hypervigilance, (iii) risk and trust, (iv) adapting and enduring and (v) changes in perspective. We use two theoretical frameworks: first, Mary Douglas’ anthropological work on purity, risk, danger and symbolism is applied to understand how social and cultural meanings attached to the body have changed during the pandemic. Second, we use the concept of bodily doubt developed by Havi Carel to interpret how people experience their bodies and other people’s bodies differently during the pandemic. While we recognise the significant variation in people’s embodied experience of the pandemic, our findings suggest there are commonalities that span different countries and cultures. Specifically, we look at responses to COVID-19 protective countermeasures such as national lockdowns and physical distancing which we suggest have reduced people’s ability to put faith in their own bodies, trust other people and trust the political leadership. We conclude by proposing that the changes to our lived experience during the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted changes in perspective and a renewed focus on what people consider important in life from a social, moral, cultural and political point of view.