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 …

Can Anything Cure the Pandemic of Waiting and Worrying? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Anything Cure the Pandemic of Waiting and Worrying?

A Psychologist of Uncertainty Has Some Ideas to Help Us Cope With This Unprecedented Time

The sources of uncertainty are numerous right now. Will my job still be there when the pandemic ends? When can I see my friends and family again? Is it safe …

Modern Ideas About Genes Were Conceived in 18th Century Asylums

Long Before Mendel Bred His Peas, Doctors Claimed Heredity Explained Madness

Sitting at my desk, reading the archived pages of an old British anthropological journal, an entry from 1899 caught my eye. The police at New Scotland Yard had a “Central …

How Digital Technology Is Making Us Subservient, Anxious, and Uncertain

The Threat of Constant Surveillance Provokes Fears That We're Losing Our Liberty and Autonomy

In the anxious years since 9/11, surveillance has become one of the essential infrastructures for 21st-century social life, commerce, and government. With an endless number of drones, sensors, scanners, archives, …

Yes, You Can Be Happy in Sad Times

Scholars Say Happiness—Along With Connectedness and Meaning—Can Make You More Resilient When the World Gets Rough

Happiness isn’t just possible when the world is in a very sad state. It’s vital in difficult times like today’s, because happier people are more resilient and recover more quickly …