Should you take a walk? Should you wear a mask? What about gloves? What about neighbors — stay six feet away? Ten? Will they approach? What will you do? Will you be standoffish, or laugh it off?
Should you go to the supermarket? Should you wipe down the groceries? What if you run out of wipes?
Should you stop to get gas? Should you wear gloves at the pump? Should you douse your credit card in sanitizer after sticking it in the slot? Should you remove the gloves before you handle your steering wheel? Should you throw the gloves on the car floor or use the gas station trash can?
Can you wear your mask twice? Should you sew your own? Let someone in your family wear your mask?
Are you overreacting? Are you under-reacting?
Should you wash your hands again?
What kind of soap?
The notion of decision fatigue has been around for a long time — long before the virus came.
But for many of us, it was the fatigue of a consumer society. If you struggled financially, it meant making rolling decisions about which groceries were affordable and which stayed on the shelf. For others, it was selecting channels and streaming services and apps. Choosing tech. Swiping Tinder. Navigating, say, the average New Jersey diner menu, which hovers around at 150 items.
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April 17, 2020