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The Boredom Pandemic

Summary:
The confinement measures aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 could lead to another pandemic with an even higher infection rate: a pathological form of tedium called alysosis. Recent research suggests that it can lead to risky behavior, greater impulsivity, and political extremism. LONDON – As people around the world find themselves in confinement to control the COVID-19 pandemic, look out for another affliction with an even higher infection rate than any virus. Boredom is now a serious health risk. Witnessing Wuhan PS OnPoint Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu via Getty Images Free to read

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The confinement measures aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 could lead to another pandemic with an even higher infection rate: a pathological form of tedium called alysosis. Recent research suggests that it can lead to risky behavior, greater impulsivity, and political extremism.

LONDON – As people around the world find themselves in confinement to control the COVID-19 pandemic, look out for another affliction with an even higher infection rate than any virus. Boredom is now a serious health risk.

Is it possible that the more preoccupied we become with the physical danger posed by the virus, the more we underestimate the mental harms produced, for example, by negative emotional states such as boredom?

Some psychoanalysts believe that boredom, if it becomes entrenched, can become a neurotic condition called “alysosis.”...

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