• Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

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Carrying On in Difficult Times

I wish I could write that a global pandemic was our only problem at the moment. While the U.S. approaches the sad milestone of one million citizens dead from COVID-19, a devastating land war in Europe is displacing millions, and a rapidly warming planet has caused another Antarctic glacier collapse. Bad news seems to dominate headlines and Twitter feeds. As reporter Francine Russo writes in this issue, the uncertainty of our times has hit some individuals particularly hard (see “The Personality Trait ‘Intolerance of Uncertainty’ Causes Anguish during COVID”).

Even as COVID cases ease in many U.S. states, some people are at risk of withdrawing further into isolation rather than rejoining social events and interactions, as medical experts Carol W. Berman and Xi Chen explain (see “COVID Threatens to Bring a Wave of Hikikomori to America”). But small pleasurable routines can work wonders in an unpredictable world; a mere two hours a week in nature has been shown to improve psychological well-being. As we continue to grapple with whatever news comes our way, we are already doing precisely what is required: we must continue.