Coronavirus BRIEFING

You're Facing a Lot of Choices Amid the Pandemic. Cut Yourself Slack: It's Called Decision Fatigue

Six months since the United States declared the coronavirus pandemic a state of emergency, millions of isolated Americans are at their wits' end, exhausted from making a seemingly endless series of health and safety decisions for themselves and their loved ones. There's a name for this phenomenon, and researchers call it decision fatigue.

Grace Hauck of USA Today, writing recently in the newspaper’s report, “You're facing a lot of choices amid the pandemic. Cut yourself slack: It's called decision fatigue.” The article also notes that, “like a mental gas tank, the human brain has a limited capacity of energy, and as you make decisions throughout the day, you deplete that resource. As you become fatigued, you may be inclined to avoid additional decisions, stick to the status quo or base a decision on a single [criterion].”