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We Have All Hit a Wall

The New York Times – Confronting late-stage pandemic burnout, with everything from edibles to Exodus – “…Call it a late-pandemic crisis of productivity, of will, of enthusiasm, of purpose. Call it a bout of existential work-related ennui provoked partly by the realization that sitting in the same chair in the same room staring at the same computer for 12 straight months (and counting!) has left many of us feeling like burned-out husks, dimwitted approximations of our once-productive selves. What time is it? What day is it? What did we do in October? Why are we standing in front of the refrigerator staring at an old clove of garlic? Just recently I myself spent half an hour struggling to retrieve a word from the faulty memory system that has replaced my prepandemic brain. (“Institution.” That was the word.) Sometimes, when I try to write a simple email, I feel I’m just pushing disjointed words around, like peas on a plate, hoping they will eventually coalesce into sentences. Am I excited about my daily work in this month of April, 2021? I would have to say that I am not. “Malaise, burnout, depression and stress — all of those are up considerably,” said Todd Katz, executive vice president and head of group benefits at MetLife. The company’s most recent Employee Benefit Trends Study, conducted in December and January, found that workers across the board felt markedly worse than they did last April…”

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