Welcome to Covid- 19’s “junior year.” It’s not pretty.

Perhaps a feeling of crushing defeat is to be expected, says health psychologist Alison Holman, a professor in the University of California Irvine School of Nursing. Over two years of relentless chaos, the social, political, environmental, and pandemic pressures have built on each other, grinding aspirations and optimism to dust. “It’s totally unprecedented,” Holman says. “The pandemic is the first time in my life that I’ve experienced something like this: an ongoing collective trauma with many underlying chronic stressors with punctuated acute stressors.”