Crisis Fatigue, Getting Fired, and the Greatest Covid-19 Mystery of Them All
A roundup of stories we’re following about Covid-19 today
- As cities across the country reopen, so too are workplaces. But no one can blame you for being scared to go back to the office, especially if you work in a tight space, like a medical clinic or crowded kitchen. After all, new Covid-19 cases are still being reported every day. Nevertheless, as the New York Times reports, people who are hesitant to go back to work are losing their jobs and benefits. Said one car salesman: “I’m damned if I come to work, damned if I don’t come to work.”
- If there’s a spike in coronavirus cases in the next week or so, it will be difficult to disentangle its root cause, a public health expert tells the New Yorker. It’ll be tempting to blame it on the ongoing protests, but don’t forget that restaurants, businesses, operating rooms, and celebrations are also resuming normal activity all over the country right now. The protests have significantly complicated the coronavirus pandemic, but “the case for protest,” as Dhruv Khullar writes in the article, “is unequivocal.”
- Are you deeply, utterly exhausted? Me too. It’s likely we’re all in the same boat right now — one that psychologists call “crisis fatigue.” As Matt Simon reports in Wired, feeling lost or numb right now is a natural response to our exposure to a seemingly interminable stream of uniquely crushing stressors: a global pandemic, mass unemployment, and protests against police brutality, not to mention the stress caused by relentless uncertainty. There are a number of ways crisis fatigue can manifest on a societal level. A hopeful one is that the protests against the murder of George Floyd serve as an authentic experience of humanity for everyone — leading to a “national catharsis.”
- There are many things we still don’t know about the coronavirus, but the “biggest mystery,” writes David Cyranoski for Nature, is the actual source of the disease. Sure, scientists are pretty sure it came from an animal, and quite certain that animal is a bat, but emerging evidence suggests there was an intermediary animal that facilitated the jump of the disease from bat to human. Discovering the virus’s true origin will be extremely difficult — and unfortunately, is likely the only way to disprove the dangerous theory that it escaped from a Wuhan laboratory, since mounting tensions between China and the U.S. make a lab investigation very unlikely.