As I write this, it’s been nearly one year since our editorial team decided to start working from home out of concern for the novel coronavirus sweeping the country. To say that we’re living in a so-called new normal is a gross misnomer. The realities of social isolation, virtual remote learning, rolling lockdowns, and nearly half a million dead in the U.S. are as far from normal as one could imagine. As the virus and its toll continue to deplete us, mental exhaustion has started to kick in, as neuroscientist David Badre writes in this issue’s cover story (see “How We Can Deal with ‘Pandemic Fatigue’”). He has some insight into how behavioral science might help us get across the pandemic end zone. The sooner the better.
Elsewhere in this collection, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman explores a new phenomenon whereby self-improvement efforts—yoga, smoothies, meditation—end up feeding the ego rather than engendering enlightenment (see “The Science of Spiritual Narcissism”). And reporter Carrie Arnold investigates cases of COVID delirium and what they might mean for future mental health (see “The Link between Delirium and Dementia”). Thanks for reading, get some rest, and carry on.