Programming Note: This site will be on break through the holidays and return in January. Be sure to subscribe or check back for updates!

Snippet: Surge Capacity ☇

Shared on September 1, 2020

Tara Haelle:

In those early months, I, along with most of the rest of the country, was using “surge capacity” to operate, as Ann Masten, PhD, a psychologist and professor of child development at the University of Minnesota, calls it. Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters. But natural disasters occur over a short period, even if recovery is long. Pandemics are different — the disaster itself stretches out indefinitely.

“The pandemic has demonstrated both what we can do with surge capacity and the limits of surge capacity,” says Masten. When it’s depleted, it has to be renewed. But what happens when you struggle to renew it because the emergency phase has now become chronic?

I rotate between a few different feelings and emotions throughout the day. My day job is wall-to-wall busy right now, and I get home and mostly zone out. Throwing in thoughts of the pandemic, racial inequality and violence, our government as a whole, and the boredom of not being able to do anything and it’s just a lot to think about. It’s a little comforting that I’m not the only one feeling this way, but as a problem-solver, it’s frustrating that there’s no immediate way to start taking things off of my plate.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to do what you can, give yourself and others a break, rest, stay healthy, and if you’re in the United States, get your things in order to vote.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.