Why Your Brain Is Desensitized to Today’s COVID-19 Death Toll

Don’t beat yourself up just yet.

Hannah Davies
6 min readOct 21, 2020
via Unsplash

Have you seen that Vanessa Hudgens clip where she says “People will die. And it’s sad, but inevitable!” I could never be like that, I understand COVID is still out there, and it sounds so horrible, but…you know?

In an Instagram voice message, my friend expresses frustration: then guilt. We miss eachother. We want to meet up. We know we can’t.

We’ve both been working, eating, sleeping and studying in our bedrooms with very little human contact for 7 months.

I do know.

Increasingly this autumn, the phrase “pandemic fatigue” has been bandied around. Pandemic fatigue isn’t referring to a COVID-19 symptom, but a psychological one. Its a feeling faced by everyone living through a pandemic, which is all of us: exhaustion. Some days, apathy.

Prevalence of pandemic fatigue — being mentally “over it” and mutinous to continued social distancing, despite the risks — is now estimated at 60% of the population. In Europe, the World Health Organisation express concern: willingness to comply with lockdown restrictions has fallen dramatically.


My friend who said the above is one of the kindest, most empathic people I’ve…