5 Reads: Pandemic Endgame, Chronic Stress Survival Guide, Making a Major Life Change and More

Things are difficult and complicated (a sentiment I find myself repeating a lot these days), and this month’s articles reflect the need for us to spend time coming to terms with that complexity and the challenges we face.

Let’s get to it…

Here are five articles that have had me thinking over the last month or so:

Americans Are Losing Sight of the Pandemic Endgame
Celine R. Gounder. The Atlantic

Key quote: “Because early data on vaccine effectiveness reinforced the perception that the vaccines could block all infections, news that they do not has unnecessarily shaken many Americans’ confidence. The goal isn’t to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 infections. We can’t, no matter how many booster shots the United States gives. The goal is to slow the spread, save lives, and eventually turn COVID-19 into something much less deadly—something more like the flu.” Read the rest here.

Why Is It So Hard To Be Rational?
Joshua Rothman. The New Yorker

Key quote: “The realities of rationality are humbling. Know things; want things; use what you know to get what you want. It sounds like a simple formula. But, in truth, it maps out a series of escalating challenges. In search of facts, we must make do with probabilities. Unable to know it all for ourselves, we must rely on others who care enough to know.” Read the rest here.

The Chronic Stress Survival Guide: How to Live With the Anxiety and Grief You Can’t Escape
Elle Hunt. The Guardian

Key quote: “Many of our everyday challenges have been amplified by the pandemic and its consequences for the economy and society. Those living with financial hardship, health conditions, or caregiving responsibilities, in particular, may feel there is no end in sight. But even if stress seems essential to your circumstances and you don’t have the option or the resources to change them, there are ways you can support yourself.” Read the rest here.

Cutoff of Jobless Benefits Is Found to Get Few Back to Work
Ben Casselman. The New York Times

Key quote: “Cutting off the benefits left unemployed workers worse off on average. The researchers estimate that workers lost an average of $278 a week in benefits because of the change, and gained just $14 a week in earnings. They compensated by cutting spending by $145 a week — a roughly 20 percent reduction — and thus put less money into their local economies.” Read the rest here.

The 3 Phases of Making a Major Life Change
Herminia Ibarra. Harvard Business Review

Key quote: “Research on the transformative potential of a catalyzing event like the coronavirus pandemic suggests that we are more likely to make lasting change when we actively engage in a three-part cycle of transition — one that gets us to focus on separation, liminality, and reintegration.” Read the rest here.

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