This summer was destined for failure

Andrei Novac, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Irvine who studies the impact of traumatic stress, told [author Maggie Mertens] that most people can’t just flip a switch to get over the past 17 months, no matter what their experience has been during the pandemic. A crisis of this magnitude “can be compared only to a world war,” he told me. Whether people experienced firsthand loss and grief or just spent an inordinate amount of time digesting the devastation that hit other people, that stress not only sticks with them but can also cause deep existential fear.