the psychic load of pandemic11 Apr 2020
more and more us are settling into the reality of living in a global pandemic. things that i or people i know have to deal with now include:
- potential reconfiguring of how and how often to get groceries
- ongoing concern about toilet paper (like, honestly, where the fuck is it?!)
- deciding how far out and what to cancel
- deciding whether or not to shift work into an online and remote context
- actually shifting work into an online, remote, and potentially distributed context
- homeschooling children (yours or others’)
- navigating roommate or family agreements/ways of being quarantined together
- if you live in a multi-unit building: navigating (or avoiding the navigation of) quarantine boundaries/agreements with people who live in your building
- having (or avoiding having) hard conversations with family (about so many things)
- checking in on everyone
- being checked on by everyone
- learning about the strange exhaustion that comes with too many video calls
- deciding if/when to go outside
- managing intake of a 24h news cycle, some of which
- living in a long-failing democracy that is gasping for breath that is led by a man-child and his disaster capitalist team
the list actually goes on and on.
what i have noticed is that there is a particular energetic cost of balancing of all of this. for the last few weeks, i’ve been calling it ‘the psychic load of (being in a) pandemic.’ in short, the psychic load of pandemic is the energy it takes to manage the heightened unknowingness that we must navigate in a time of mass and obvious uncertainty.
what tipped me off to this psychic load existing was this truth i mentioned in my mystic perspective on coronavirus. everything is literally always uncertain, even in the most normal and stable of times. tens of thoughts of people die everyday, most of them not expecting it. but in “normal” times, we have calibrated to a certain level of uncertainty and that is just a part of our daily lives. it’s in these times where the uncertainty is made obvious and more intense at a massive scale that the load increases.
in myself and i know in some other folks around me, the psychic load manifests in three key ways: decreased ability to focus, diminished capacity for making decisions (especially as the day goes on and even beyond typical decision-fatigue), and increased need for rest/sleep.
what do you think? how are you experiencing the psychic load of pandemic? or do you see what’s happening differently? leave a comment! i read them and respond to most of them.
words / writing / post-processing
XXXw / XXmin / XXmin