I read three things to reinforce this today. First, National Geographic acknowledges the global mental health crisis, and how we're procrastinating more as a result:
People don’t necessarily procrastinate because they are lazy. Procrastination has roots in our evolutionary development, with two key parts of the brain vying for control.
“Procrastination is an emotion-focused coping strategy,” says Tim Pychyl, a psychology professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle. “It is not a time-management problem; it is an emotion-management problem.”
Experts who study procrastination define it as the voluntary delay of an intended act despite the fact that you can expect to be worse off in the long run by putting off the task. We know the task doesn’t go away, but sometimes we let our emotions get the best of us. Our “present self” calls the shots, and our “future self” suffers because of it.
Neuroscientists have found that procrastination is a battle between an ancient part of the brain called the limbic system and a relatively younger part known as the prefrontal cortex.
However, when strong emotions such as anxiety and fear become overwhelming, the impulsive limbic system can still win out.
Paul Krugman today describes another form of insanity, in which the states of Texas and Mississippi (34th and 46th in public education rankings, respectively) have consigned a non-zero number of people to death because of the politics of masks:
Wearing a mask in public, like holding it in for a few minutes, is slightly inconvenient, but hardly a major burden. And the case for imposing that mild burden in a pandemic is overwhelming. The coronavirus variants that cause Covid-19 are spread largely by airborne droplets, and wearing masks drastically reduces the variants’ spread.
So not wearing a mask is an act of reckless endangerment, not so much of yourself — although masks appear to provide some protection to the wearer — as of other people. Covering our faces while the pandemic lasts would appear to be simple good citizenship, not to mention an act of basic human decency.
Refusing to wear a mask has become a badge of political identity, a barefaced declaration that you reject liberal values like civic responsibility and belief in science. (Those didn’t used to be liberal values, but that’s what they are in America 2021.)
I don’t know how many people will die unnecessarily because the governor of Texas has decided that ignoring the science and ending the mask requirement is a good way to own the libs. But the number won’t be zero.
Finally, I got a lengthy email today that someone sent through Weather Now, for some reason, warning me of the dangers of vaccination:
I was praying and fasting, regarding the Covid-19 vaccine during the time I’ve received this dream:
In my dream, God took me into the near future of America. I was overlooking America (like a birds eye view), and I looked to my right of America (the Eastside) and was overlooking New York State as well.. And I saw millions of people in America, had received the Covid-19 vaccine.
And also throughout America, I could see 5G towers monitoring VERY closely the covid-19 vaccinated individuals (victims).
When I saw this, I immediately asked God, “How are they completely connected to these 5G towers and the towers to them?” Right after I asked God this, He took me to a hospital in New York. There, I saw a doctor giving a patient, the covid-19 vaccine. (The doctor and patient couldn’t see me.)
But while the doctor was injecting into the patient’s arm, the covid-19 vaccine shot.. I saw hundreds/thousands of little specs of microchips, [nanobots] INSIDE the covid-19 vaccine, flowing through the shot, and into that individual.
The email went on like this for five pages. I selected only the most coherent bits for this message. I should point out, however, that the IP address from which the message originated is in Vietnam, so I'm not too worried there's an unhinged fundamentalist trying to save my soul through a weather application's feedback page. I am worried that fear leads to stupidity (a crucial step Yoda forgot to mention) and stupidity leads to people believing crazy things.
Craziness usually follows plagues. Let's hope we get through our crazy period as rationally as we can.