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10/13/2020

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Katharine

Running is my primary hobby outside of work, and I have discovered the pleasure of driving to a new-to-me neighborhood for my short after-work run. I've explored many different residential areas that are within a 6 mile radius of my house. It is delightful to come across little neighborhood parks that I didn't know existed and to see kids and teens (masked and social distancing) playing on playgrounds.

Helen De Cruz

I'm an extrovert, and I'm worried about how this is affecting my psyche. I do try to socialize via Zoom with friends and family, but I've noticed these meetings are making tired, and don't energize me as social stuff used to. I know there's a lot else to worry about, but I worry I'll come out of this pandemic in a permanently altered state, a state of someone who can't socialize anymore, or for whom socializing has become tiresome and burdensome.
Already, I've moved to the US last August and it dawned upon me that I've now spent more time in pandemic than not in pandemic in the US, and it's very isolating. People I care about don't just live across the Atlantic, they might as well live on the Moon. It's so far away.
Everything seems so difficult. My kids struggle with online school particularly my youngest. I'm just exhausted all the time. At the same time, I do seem to get a lot of work done and it's one of the few things I do find joy in (my hobbies now are really at a low--I wrote quite some fiction before this thing started, now I just can't find inspiration; I have to really push myself to play music or to draw).
I try to remain optimistic, but it's hard.

Trevor Hedberg

It's definitely been harder to maintain motivation to get work done. I don't just think it's the pandemic: in the US, there's also a ton of political madness taking place and an all-too-real possibility that the election results will be challenged. It amounts to a very large distraction, and many of the things we'd normally do to alleviate stress (i.e., those involving large gatherings of people) are not happening right now. Additionally, I wasn't anticipating that we'd still be neck deep in this pandemic after more than 7 months -- and with no clear end in sight! It's hard to keep one's spirits up under the circumstances.

Tom2

This is speculation, but I wonder if uncertainty about the future of the academy, and even more acutely the future of the philosophy profession, plays a role. Insofar as one is motivated to, say, write a paper by the promise of a TT job, or tenure, or a position at a fancy school, or (academic) fame, etc.--well, those now appear to be in peril. So I think to write, and to write well, you have to enjoy it or think it's worthwhile for its own sake. And I do.

More generally, I suspect there is a growing feeling that things are just not working for people anymore, individually and collectively, and that an inflection point is coming. If that is the case, I am not surprised that this feeling of "acedia" is widespread.

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