Here’s Anne Helen Petersen with an opinion piece about election burnout and how terrible we all feel–physically on edge, mentally ready to check out.
Imagine running a marathon, seeing the finish line and then having someone on the sideline yell that you need to turn around and run all the way home. That’s what this election burnout feels like. The unknowns—about the virus, a potential cure, just how long all of this will last—just continue to cascade. The approach of winter feels like being in a dark tunnel closing in on both sides.
But don’t check out! Wanting to check out is what people in power are counting on. Not to go full conspiracy theory, but this burnout has been designed:
This arduousness has not been accidental. The response to this virus didn’t have to be another battle in the culture war. Voting doesn’t have to feel like a mythical hero’s journey. Applying for unemployment, taking a Covid-19 test, feeling confident that people will respect rules about masks—none of it should be this hard. That difficulty was always the point. Make things hard, and infuriating and time-consuming, and eventually people will give up—or at least fall in line.
Hang in there. It’s going to be more than one more day, probably, so keep caring. Pay attention. Make a plan to resist a coup, which is a thing I never thought I would be researching or linking on my “lifestyle” blog that has about 10 readers.
These aren’t normal times; nobody feels normal. But we’re not alone.