Why Is It so Hard to Mourn the Vast Number of COVID Dead?

An Empathy Scientist Reveals How Our Brains Get in the Way of Comprehending Calamity on This Scale

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first U.S. death from COVID-19 on February 29. Within a month, more than 1,000 Americans were dying on a single day. Since then, we’ve reached that daily number many times over. Some days, more than 2,500 people have died. The U.S. recently surpassed another marker: over 277,000 individuals dead.

And yet: many are largely disconnected from the pain, unwilling or unable to recognize or process the loss.

Where is the collective mourning? I am an empathy scientist, and I can …

The Epic Bar Fight That Sums Up the Problem with Memorial Day

A Depression-Era Story of Mourning, Motherhood, and Grandiosity

On Memorial Day, 1930, Mrs. Mathilda Burling of New York stood before the headstone of her son, Private George B. Burling, Jr. at grave 17, row 29, at the St. …

Mourning Prince, Ziggy Stardust … and Oedipus

Social Media Brings an Ancient Greek Twist to a Previously Private American Ritual

After Prince died my Facebook news feed filled with mourning. My friends shared the time he sang “Starfish and Coffee” with the Muppets, told stories of going to concerts at …