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Welcome to Covid-19’s “junior year.” It’s not pretty.

Vox: “After a brief reprieve from surging cases in the fall, omicron, the newest and most transmissible Covid-19 variant yet, is tearing its way across the nation, causing a nearly 30 percent spike nationally in cases in a matter of days. As communities roll out eerily familiar safety measures, for some, it’s feeling like 2020 again: In the past few weeks, California and New York reinstated indoor mask mandates, restaurants from Philadelphia to Houston to Los Angeles are temporarily closing amid outbreaks, at-home rapid tests are sold out from coast to coast, and some universities are sending students back online. Welcome to the pandemic’s “junior year,” to adopt the darkly comic term that went viral on Twitter this fall. It looks like 2022 is destined to be the third year in a row that’s marked by fear and confusion, positive tests and near misses — and a resounding feeling of failure…That feeling of ever-dwindling resolve and malaise has had many names over the last 21 months: grief, burnout, “languishing,” trauma. Perhaps the most popular is “pandemic fatigue,” which describes the difficulty many well-intentioned individuals have had in keeping up safety precautions over long periods.

People are especially exhausted because so much energy is spent on ‘what ifs’ and worrying,” says David Sbarra, a psychology professor at the University of Arizona. “There’s enough to worry about about the known-knowns that worrying about all the unknowns just takes a big toll on us after a while.”…

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